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Death toll in Rio storms reaches 18

01-12-2012 10:51 BJT

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The death toll in storm-hit Rio de Janeiro state in southeast Brazil has reached 18, local authorities said Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, rescuers found five other bodies at the site of a devastating mudslide that hit the small town of Sapucaia on Monday.

Till now, 17 people have died in the mudslide, which also destroyed nine houses. The other person died when a house collapsed in another place in the same town.

The five victims found Wednesday -- two men, two women and a child -- were from one family. When the mudslide hit, they left their house to seek shelter in a car which was swept away, their neighbors said. Their house, however, remained standing.

Some 12 people remain missing due to the mudslide. According to the Civil Defense, there is no hope of finding survivors.

Rio de Janeiro state is not the only one that has suffered floods and mudslides in the country. Neighboring state Minas Gerais registered a death toll of 15.

Espirito Santo state in the same region reported damages as well and 127 municipalities have declared a state of emergency.

Earlier Wednesday, the Brazilian government released 75 million reais (41.6 million U.S. dollars) in aid to the three states.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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