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Fears for more rain after weekend storm devastates parts of Brazil

Rescue workers continue to work through the severe weather, with thousands left homeless across two states.

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At least 27 people are dead after a weekend deluge triggered widespread flooding and landslides in the Brazilian states of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, reports say.

Most of the fatalities occurred in Espírito Santo, with the southern town of Mimoso do Sul particularly hard hit. At least six people are still missing and more than 7,000 people in the state have been forced to flee their homes.

Meanwhile, at least eight people have died in the neighbouring state of Rio de Janeiro, four when the storm caused a house to collapse in Petropolis, a city 70 kilometres inland from the capital. More than 16 hours after the collapse, rescuers pulled a young girl from the house, AFP reported.

Dropping water levels and a decrease in rainfall allowed rescuers to reach areas on Sunday that were previously inaccessible. However, heavy rain warnings remain in place through Tuesday morning, making further flooding and landslides a serious concern in a region that has experienced severe weather for years now.

[See more: Brazil’s deadly floods blamed on ‘perfect storm’ of meteorological factors]

The National Institute of Meteorology estimated daily rainfall at 20 cm from Friday through Sunday. The area normally receives 14 cm of rain for the entire month of March.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva warned that such environmental tragedies “are intensifying with climate change,” which intensifies the impacts of storms by warming the air, causing it to hold more moisture.

The devastating storm comes soon after a week-long record heatwave sent temperatures soaring to 62.3℃ in Rio de Janeiro.

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