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Brazil's flooding death toll tops 500

Brazil's flooding death toll tops 500
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More than 500 people are now known to have died in one of Brazil’s worst natural disasters in decades.

Raging floods and landslides have left a trail of destruction through the mountainous Serrana region near Rio de Janeiro.

The brunt of the tragedy has been borne by poorer rural residents in houses built in risky areas, often without formal planning permission.

Rescue teams are desperately digging for survivors.

The torrents of mud and water toppled homes and buried entire families as they slept.

Flooding victim Marilza De Campos sobbed as she explained how a rock rolled down, devastating one area. The housewife, 56, has lost two grandchildren, her son, daughter-in-law, niece and three nephews.

Rescue efforts could be complicated with more heavy rain forecast, raising the risk of further mudslides.

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