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Brazil storms kill 7, displace 1000s

 
 
 
 
 
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A destroyed car is seen in the main street of Teresopolis' Campo Grande neighborhood, some 100 km from Rio de Janiero, in the southwestern state of Rio on January 16, 2011 following a landslide of mud and rocks caused by heavy rains.

Storms in the southwestern Brazil state of Minas Gerais have claimed the lives of seven people and left some 13,000 others homeless.

At least five of the victims are believed to have either drowned or been killed by the mudslides, which were caused by the heavy rains on Wednesday. Another three people are reportedly missing.

Meanwhile, Brazilian authorities declared state of emergency in 50 towns across the state due to the severe damages caused by the storms.

Bridges, highways as well as energy and water networks have been damaged in a number of the towns.

Brazil generally experiences flooding during the rainy season months of December and January.

Last year, storms left more than 900 people dead and thousands others homeless in the southwestern state of Rio during the rainy season.

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