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18 killed, scores missing in Brazil mudslides after heavy rains hit Rio

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Eighteen people have been confirmed dead with dozens declared missing, after exceptionally torrential rainfall triggered mudslides and floods in a hilly part of Rio de Janeiro state of Brazil, officials reported on Wednesday morning.

According to a statement by the Rio state’s firefighter department, over 180 troops have been despatched to the affected zone to help with rescue efforts.

The report also said officials fear a rise in the death toll as rescue teams searched the devastated regions in the Petropolis district, where hundreds of people had died following heavy rains in 2011.

READ ALSO: Landslide claims 22 lives in Ethiopia after heavy rains pound southern part

“Indicating the heavy downpour, the firefighter department has revealed that the area received 25.8 cm of rainfall in just three hours throughout the day on Tuesday, which is nearly as much as the preceding 30 days combined,” a statement by the Petropolis’ City Hall said.

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is currently on a trip to Russia, said in a tweet he has asked his ministers to provide prompt assistance to the victims.

“God comfort the families of the victims,” the President wrote.

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