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Record floods swamp Rio de Janeiro

Thousands of people in Rio de Janeiro have been told to stay in their homes as record rainfall swept through the city, killing 95 people and injuring 100 more.

The city’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, told workers to stay at home as businesses were closed and school gates were locked after the heavy rain eroded hillsides, causing catastrophic landslides that have levelled slums and turned roads into rivers.

Rescue officials said they expected the death toll to rise, particularly in shantytowns where concrete and wooden homes have already been uprooted and swept away.

Rivers of red-brown water have crashed through the city following the torrential downpour, which saw 11in of rain fall in less than 24 hours. The rainfall easily surpasses the previous record for the city, which witnessed 9in of rainfall on January 2, 1966.

Officials said potential mudslides threatened at least 10,000 homes in the city of six million people.

Mayor Eduardo Paes said: “It is not advisable for people to leave their homes,” said Mr Paes. “We want to preserve lives.”

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