| GEO World|
| Brazil flooding, landslides toll tops 145|
| Updated at: 0926 PST, Thursday, April 08, 2010|
RIO DE JANEIRO: Rescuers searched for flood and landslide survivors in southeastern Brazil Wednesday as the death toll neared the 150 mark following the heaviest downpours in almost half a century.
Civil Defense officials late Wednesday said that 145 people were confirmed dead not counting up to 60 people who may have been buried when a landslide destroyed some 45 homes in Niteroi, a city across the bay from the state capital and part of the greater Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area. There were people inside at least 30 of the stricken homes in Niteroi, local tv channel reported, citing sources at the mayor's office and firefighters. It said two bodies had already been removed from the landslide site.
The toll was likely to rise further as dozens of people were reportedly still missing following the rains, which displaced more than 1,400 people and destroyed scores of homes.
Heavy rain, which began on Monday, fell intermittently on Wednesday amid sunny spells, providing hope that the worst was over. Emergency officials said most fatalities were in hillside slums around the city of Rio de Janeiro, where torrents of water triggered devastating mudslides and scenes of chaos.