Authorities are rushing to evacuate thousands of people after a dam burst near the town of Campos de Goytacazes in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The incident follows intense rain and flooding which has been affecting the country for some time.
In a report by the BBC, 66 towns and cities have been forced to declare a state of emergency as flooding has affected in the region of 2 million people so far this year. The water from the burst dam has caused damage to roads making rescue and evacuation efforts difficult. Civil defence teams are working to reach the area as quickly as possible.
The Daily Telegraph reports that at least seven people have died so far in the flooding and mudslides are an ever present threat. Last year, over 800 people were killed in flooding and landslides in Brazil at this same time of year, when the country has its rainy season.
The Brazilian government has spent millions trying to improve flood defences, including setting up a system to check rainfall and provide an early warning of possible flooding but the poor construction of homes in the poorer areas, with many being built on muddy hillsides, means that the death toll will almost inevitably rise.