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94 killed in heavy rainfall, landslides in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro: What you need to know

Cars and entire homes were swept away by the floodwaters: Picture courtesy BBC/Reuters

At least 94 people were killed in the Brazilian town of Petropolis north of Rio de Janeiro due to heavy rainfalls and subsequent landslides, media reported on Thursday.

Houses in hillside neighborhoods were destroyed and cars swept away as floodwaters raced through the city's streets.

Sputnik News Agency citing media reports stated that about 80 fatalities. While 54 houses were destroyed as a result of the disaster.

Citing G1 broadcaster, the Russian News Agency said that the civil defense service rescued 24 people, while 35 more remain missing.

Around 300 people are being housed in schools and shelters, and charities are calling for donations of mattresses, food, clothing and face masks.

The city's mayor has declared a state of emergency and President Jair Bolsonaro, who is on an official trip to Russia, has said he will organize immediate help for the victims.

Petrópolis and the surrounding region were previously hit by severe storms in January 2011, when more than 900 people died in flooding and landslides.

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