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Brazil mudslides: Death toll rises to 762


Rio de Janeiro : Rescue teams continued their work for the 10th straight day in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state where 762 people have died due to mudslides triggered by torrential rains, while 400 are still missing, authorities said.

The state government’s latest bulletin Friday said that in Nova Friburgo, one of the towns hit hardest by the floods, the death toll has risen to 367.

Emergency teams have recovered 309 bodies in Teresopolis, while the number of fatalities in Petropolis has reached 65 and in Sumidouro 21.

At least 6,050 people have lost their homes and another 7,780 have been evacuated and are living in temporary shelters.

Meanwhile, it was announced that Rio de Janeiro city would install sirens to sound the alarm when floods and torrential rains are forecast. The new system will begin this year and will be fully operative by 2013, said Minister of Science and Technology Aloizio Mercadante.

The system will have 15 radars, 700 rain gauges and thousands of sirens to give up to a six-hour warning of storms, tornadoes and other meteorological phenomena.