At least 32 people have died since Sunday in southeastern Brazil after heavy rains slammed Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states, authorities said.
Dozens are still unaccounted for, and more than 5,000 have been displaced. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers continue the search for missing people. Mudslides are possible. February was the rainiest month for Sao Paolo since record-keeping began 77 years ago, according to the National Meteorological Institute. The deadly storms in recent days "dumped a month's worth of rain on some areas in a matter of hours. Even more rain is expected, and authorities are asking communities to remain on high alert for possible mudslides.
Several cities in the coastal Baixada Santista region of Sao Paulo were severely affected, including Guaruja and Santos. Various highways were blocked by landslides and fallen trees.The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel, expressed his condolences on Tuesday to the families of five victims who died in Rio de Janeiro. The amount of rain that fell across Rio de Janeiro on Monday morning was equivalent to more than half the average for March.