Heavy Rains Kill at Least 50 People in Brazil

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Record-breaking rains wash out Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil. Scores of landslides have claimed over 50 lives so far.

It’s the heaviest rains that Rio de Janeiro state has experienced in decades.

Floodwaters invaded stores and bars and snarled traffic causing long traffic jams in the beachside city that will host the 2016 Olympics.

Firemen used inflatable boats to rescue many people who were stranded overnight in cars and buses.

Some couldn't return to their homes due to the lack of buses and knee-high waters.

[Unidentified Man]: (Portuguese)
"It's already past 4 a.m. and I'm still here. I am no longer trying to go back home, I am trying to return to my work."

[Unidentified woman]: (Portuguese)
"We walked through the flooding to get here. We are walking because nobody stops to help us, the cabs won't stop."

Mudslides swept away shacks in Rio's hillside slums.

Roughly 180 landslides left 50 people dead in Rio and in the neighboring cities of Niteroi and Sao Goncalo. At least 18 more were reported injured.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva canceled a planned visit to slum areas where he had been due to inaugurate public works projects.

[Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazilian President]: (Portuguese)
"Now we have to wait for the rain to be gone so we can try to rebuild the city and remove people from the high risk areas, try to build the houses that are missing and then, gradually, install a draining system at the cities to avoid that every time we have a heavy rain like this, we suffer as much as we are suffering."

Meteorologists forecast more rain in the coming days, raising fears of more mudslides as rain-drenched soil becomes heavy.

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