Mudslides have killed at least 348 people in Brazil, officials said Thursday.
Heavy rains sent tons of earth sliding off mountains in the region north of Rio de Janeiro and an overflowing river submerged buildings in Teresopolis, the BBC reported.
Towns in the mountainous region reported a staggering number of fatalities: Nova Friburgo confirmed 168 dead, Teresopolis reported 146 dead and Petropolis reported 34 dead.
Officials say dozens more are missing and there could be hundreds more bodies yet to be recovered.
“It’s a huge catastrophe, a major disaster,” Teresopolis Mayor Jorge Mario said, according to UPI.
10 inches of rain pummeled the region in less than 24 hours. Even after the rains ended yesterday, floodwaters raged down the mountains as survivors waded through waist-high water, scrambling for higher ground.
“What happened here was worse than what happened in 2008,” said Petropolis Mayor Paul Mustrangi. “There is nothing left. All the houses were hit.”