RIO DE JANEIRO: Torrential rains that turned avenues into rivers killed at least seven people overnight into Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, officials said.

Water from the storm reached the roofs of cars on some stretches of Avenida de Brasil, a major thoroughfare in Brazil's best known city.

One man died in a landslide and a woman drowned, firefighters said, while the cause of death in the other cases was not immediately announced. One woman was also reported missing.

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A dozen bus lines shut down and several metro stations were closed because of water on the tracks.

Some parts of the city received a month's worth of rain typical in January in just 24 hours.

Mayor Eduardo Paes urged people to stay home Sunday for safety and so as not to disrupt rescue and recovery efforts.

A national agency that monitors natural disasters said there was high risk of landslides in eight towns in surrounding Rio de Janeiro state.


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