The death toll from mudslides and flooding in Brazil has reached 506, officials said Friday, as rescue teams recovered more bodies of victims from the disaster unleashed by ongoing heavy rains, DPA reported.
In deaths were reported in the mountainous region of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Police said 470 of the victims were identified.
The hardest-hit cities were Teresopolis, with at least 223 deaths, and Nova Friburgo, with 225. In Sumidouro, 19 bodies were recovered Thursday, and authorities confirmed 39 deaths in the historic city of Petropolis, mostly in Cuiaba Valley, home to luxurious holiday retreats.
Most of the deaths occurred Wednesday.
President Dilma Rousseff and Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral toured the disaster areas Thursday.
"The scenes are shocking. People's suffering is visible," she told journalists in Rio.
Cabral asked locals to evacuate if their homes in areas at risk of mudslides or flooding. In Nova Friburgo.
Rousseff intends to release around 464 million dollars to assist disaster victims in Rio state and neighbouring Sao Paulo, where 13 people died late Monday.
An estimated 160 millimetres of rain fell on Teresopolis over just four hours on Wednesday, Mayor Jorge Mario Sedlacek said. That was more than the total that normally falls in all of January.
Worst hit in Brazil`s seasonal rains are slums and other poor neighbourhoods, which are often built illegally on hillsides.
Meteorologists forecast more rain in the area in the coming days.