Death toll from Brazil downpours rises

STORY: Massive rainfalls over the weekend have caused landslides and flooding in coastal towns in the southeast of the country. Almost 2,500 people are still displaced or homeless, the government said, adding that rescue works are ongoing.

The city of Sao Sebastiao bore the brunt of the human toll, with 43 reported deaths.

In the area, houses and streets were seen covered in mud, while aerial views showed the rescue efforts after the destruction caused by landslides.

The floods in coastal Sao Paulo state were the latest in a series of such disasters to have recently struck Brazil, where shoddy construction, often on hillsides, has tended to have tragic consequences during the country's rainy season.

The deluge happened as tourists thronged to Brazil's beaches during the annual Carnival holiday, likely making the human toll much worse.