Landslides from rain kill 12 in Brazil

·1-min read

Landslides have killed at least 12 people since the weekend in Brazil's Minas Gerais state, which has been pummelled by intense rainfall, and authorities are monitoring dams that could burst.

Firefighters in the southeastern state found five people from the same family, two of them children, buried on a hillside near the state capital, Belo Horizonte.

Two hours away by car, in the city Sao Goncalo do Rio Abaixo, a 10-year-old girl was also killed when a wall collapsed on her bedroom as she was sleeping, according to a statement from the state's civil defence authority on Tuesday.

Another three deaths occurred in the city of Caratinga, and in the city of Ervalia, a 20-year-old died when a landslide collapsed a bar, the bulletin said.

The state had reported two other deaths on Sunday.

It said 145 municipalities were in a state of emergency due to flooding that has already forced more than 17,000 people to leave their homes.

Other states also have been hit by deadly rains in recent months. The state of Bahia reported 26 rain-caused deaths in November and December, and more than 100,000 have been evacuated in various states during the rainy season.

Parts of Minas Gerais have accumulated more than 400 millimetres of rain in the first 10 days of the year, according to Brazil's Meteorology Institute.

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