The capital of Minas Gerais State, Belo Horizonte, recorded 171mm of rainfall in a 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday, the highest rainfall in 110 years.

The death toll caused by record rainfall in southeastern Brazil jumped to 53 on Sunday and officials expressed alarm about the continuing deluge.

At least 44 people have died in the State of Minas Gerais and nine more in neighbouring Espirito Santo, according to local disaster officials, who said 19 people remained missing. Some 20,000 people have been evacuated due to the threat of floods and landslides. The capital of Minas Gerais State, Belo Horizonte, recorded 171mm of rainfall in a 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday, the highest rainfall in 110 years.

Emergency declared

State Governor Gustavo Zema declared a state of emergency in 99 cities, a measure meant to facilitate federal disaster aid.

Authorities in Espirito Santo said they were on “maximum alert” due to the forecast of more rain for Sunday. In the city of Alegre, officials warned that a dam was in danger of breaking and urged people living below to evacuate. Another 2,000 people were evacuated in the Rio de Janeiro State city of Itaperuna.

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