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Brazil mudslide death toll climbs to 803

 
 
 
 
 
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The official death toll from Brazil’s mudslide disaster has risen to 803 as more bodies are recovered.

In the worst-hit town of Nova Friburgo near Rio de Janeiro, 389 deaths were recorded, and in neighbouring Teresopolis the toll rose to 324, according to the national Civil Defence agency and Department of Health.

In the town of Petropolis the toll was raised to 65 dead, and 22 dead in Sumidouro.

Another three bodies were uncovered in nearby towns.

The previous confirmed toll from the flash floods and mudslides that struck the Serrana mountain region near Rio de Janeiro on January 12 was 759.

Officials, meanwhile, reduced the number of people counted as missing from 430 people on Saturday to 417 as a number of people were found alive or bodies were identified.

A total of 13,830 people were forced to abandon their homes in the region, either because they were destroyed or deemed unsafe, Rio’s health service said.

The full extent of the disaster, reported to be the worst natural catastrophe in Brazil’s history, was not yet known, with many people still in areas cut off from land access receiving help from helicopter crews.

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