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An aerial view shows neighborhood affected by landslides in Petropolis, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022.Silvia Izquierdo/The Associated Press

Heavy rains caused mudslides that killed at least 14 people in southern coastal cities and the Baixada Fluminense area of Rio de Janeiro state, according to state and local authorities on Saturday.

Rescuers answered 850 calls in the last 24 hours and were able to bring 144 people to safety in the affected regions, state authorities said.

Rio de Janeiro has been hit by inclement weather over the past few weeks, with landslides and flooding killing some 240 people in roughly one month in the northern Petropolis area, authorities said on March 23.

“We have more than 70 homeless families. We are providing shelters and renting hostels for these people,” Luciano Vidal, the mayor of Paraty, told Reuters.

He said mudslides blocked streets and isolated parts of the city, and entire neighborhoods were without electricity in the colonial coastal town that is a tourist attraction.

In one day, Paraty received 322 millimetres (12.68 inches) of rain, the rainfall average for six months.

The town declared a state of emergency as more rains were forecast.

The nearby town of Angra dos Reis, also a tourist destination, was also hit by heavy rainfall, and at least one child died in a landslide. Rescuers are searching for more than ten missing persons in that area, authorities said.

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