Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil floods: Dozens dead in severe Minas Gerais rainstorms

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe flooding hit Belo Horizonte

At least 30 people have died during severe rainstorms in Brazil's Minas Gerais state, the country's emergency services have said.

Many of the victims were buried in landslides or washed away in floods after intense rain on Friday and Saturday.

More than 2,500 people were evacuated from their homes, and local TV showed images of ruined houses under red mud.

Rescue work continued overnight into Sunday, with 17 people missing.

The Brazilian weather service said on Saturday that the state capital of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, had had 17cm (seven inches) of rain in one 24-hour period - the heaviest rainfall since records were first kept 110 years ago.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Rescuers have been spraying water to disperse mud, as the search for the missing continues
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption There are fears that the death toll will rise further

About 40 municipalities in Brazil's second most populous state have been badly hit.

The floods and landslides come on the first anniversary of the dam collapse near the town of Brumadinho, south-west of Belo Horizonte, that killed 270 people.

Forests were destroyed and rivers polluted, in what was Brazil's worst industrial accident.

Mining giant Vale and German auditor Tüv Süd now face environmental charges relating to the collapse, with 16 individuals who worked for the companies facing charges of murder.

Vale has been accused of failing to report warning signs before the dam engulfed a canteen, offices and farms.

More on this story