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Brazil Death Toll Moves Past 600

The death toll from the flooding and mudslides in a mountainous area of Brazil, north of Rio de Janeiro, has risen to more than 600, with scores of other people still missing.

The worst hit areas include the town of Nova Friburgo, where more than 270 people have been reported killed, and the nearby town of Teresopolis, where more than 260 have been killed.

A seven-day period of mourning has been declared in the state to honor the victims of what is being described as the worst natural disaster to hit Brazil in four decades.

The floods and mudslides last week hit mostly poor communities, smashing houses and in some cases, killing entire families.

compiled from agency reports