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Updated: January 16, 2011 15:15 IST

Flood toll in Brazil exceeds 600

DPA
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Soldiers carry a coffin during a mass funeral for landslides victims at a cemetery in Nova Friburgo, Brazil, on Saturday.
AP Soldiers carry a coffin during a mass funeral for landslides victims at a cemetery in Nova Friburgo, Brazil, on Saturday.

The death toll from Brazil’s weather catastrophe rose to 608 on Saturday as rescue teams continued to unearth bodies from rubble and mudslides, fire and rescue officials said.

Another 100 people were reported missing.

The disastre centres on the state of Rio de Janeiro, the hilly countryside around the city of Rio. Worst hit are the cities Nova Friburgo, with 271 dead, and Teresopolis — about 100 km from Rio — with 261 dead. In the historic city of Petropolis, home to luxury vacation villas, there were 55 dead.

Brazil has mounted its largest rescue and recovery operation in history. Thousands of rescue workers, firefighters and civil defence officials, police officers, soldiers and volunteers have deployed.

In some areas, clean water and food has run out. Electricity remains down days after the storms on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Meteorologists expect a new wave of heavy rainfall on Sunday in the mountainous Serrana—Region. The governor of the state of Rio, Sergio Cabral, has designated a seven—day official period of mourning over the coming week.

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