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It is a matter of life or death as heavy rains batter Brazil, sending water rushing through the streets and thousands of people fleeing for safety.

An entire town in Rio de Janeiro state had to be evacuated after floodwater burst a nearby dam, unleashing a torrent which headed straight for the community.

The floods and mudslides that have hit Brazil’s south-east since the start of the year have claimed several lives. Nationwide, more than two million people have been affected.

It has revived memories of last year’s flooding disaster that left about 900 people dead.

Caught up in the latest downpours in Minas Gerais state in the southeast, one local man said: “I lost almost everything. I don’t know what to say. What else can I do? I managed to find a school to send my kids to, but I’m staying here because I need to keep an eye on things.”

A state of emergency has been declared in dozens of towns, with riverside residents the worst hit. And the forecast is for more heavy rain.


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