Floods have claimed up to 369 lives in what has been descibed by Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper as the worst natural disaster to hit Brazil in four decades. This is a sharp increase since Wednesday, when the number of deaths was 257.
Rescue workers are struggling to reach areas ravaged by the floods in the devastated mountainous region.
Desperate stranded residents were forced to fend for themselves as rescue operations were hampered by destroyed roads and treacherous terrain.
More rain is forecast for the coming days, raising the risk of further mudslides. Newly elected President Dilma Rousseff is due to fly over the affected region. She has injected $460 million in to emergency aid for rescue and emergency efforts.
Just two Navy helicopters are assisting rescue operations and the Navy is also sending a mobile field hospital to the area.
Landslides and floods are common in most of Brazil. Due to poor urban planning and a lack of preventive action by authorities residents are particulary vulenrable.