Officials say the death toll in mudslides and floods in the mountain towns north of Rio de Janeiro has climbed to 17.

Rescuers in Petropolis are still combing through areas that saw a month’s worth of precipitation fall in just 24 hours over the weekend, turning streets into rivers and setting off mudslides.

More than 900 people were killed in floods and mudslides in Petropolis two years ago.

Torrential Southern Hemisphere summer rains are a perennial problem here. But early warning systems installed since the deadly 2011 rains appear to have helped save lives by giving people time to scramble to safety.

Officials say that more than a dozen warning sirens have been activated on early Tuesday as intermittent rains continue to fall.

Keywords: BrazilHeavy rainsToll

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