At least 23 people have been killed and dozens more are missing in Brazil after a storm hit the country’s south-eastern coast, causing torrential rain and landslides, authorities have said.
The deaths occurred in the cities of Guaruja, Santos and Sao Vicente of Sao Paulo state, with Guaruja hardest hit, Brazil’s civil defence office said.
The office estimates 200 people have been displaced in Guaruja alone.
As rescue workers and firefighters continue the search for missing people, the death toll is expected to rise.
The BBC reported among the victims were two firefighters and a mother and her child.
“They were trying to rescue the child who was buried under the rubble when a second landslide hit,” the BBC reported.
At least 16 people were killed early on Tuesday (local time) in Sao Paulo, state authorities said.
The deadly storms in recent days “dumped a month’s worth of rain on some areas in a matter of hours, devastating the southern Sao Paolo state and poor neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro,” Agency-France Presse (AFP) reported.
“I express my solidarity with those who are suffering from these heavy rains,” Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said in tweet.
Various highways were blocked by landslides and fallen trees including some linking to Santo, the biggest port in South America, according to AFP.
Some parts of Rio de Janeiro have also been flooded and state authorities said more than 5,000 people were forced from their homes.
Residents grew frustrated and the disaster turned political when Rio’s Mayor Marcelo Crivella blamed residents for the flooding.
According to AFP, he complained to journalists that “people can’t be throwing trash on hillsides, in storm drains and in the street”.
During the press conference, someone threw mud at Mr Crivella which was captured in a video that went viral on social media.
Brazil’s south-east region has been hit by heavy rains this year, causing recurrent floods and landslides.
The worst instance came in January, when dozens perished in landslides in the interior state of Minas Gerais.