RIO DE JANEIRO, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Torrential rains in southeast Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state have killed 13 people and left more than 500 homeless, authorities said Monday.
A total of 11 people were missing and most of the victims, including an infant and two rescue workers who were buried by a mudslide as they tried to save locals, were from Petropolis, a town in a mountainous region that frequently suffers from floods and mudslides.
The downpours began Sunday evening and continued into Monday, said the local Civil Defense agency, adding that the region saw more than a month's rainfall in less than 24 hours.
Downpours are common in Rio state throughout the summer, and the mountain region that's home to Petropolis is annually one of the areas worst hit by floods.
In 2011, the region witnessed Brazil's worst natural disaster, when downpour from several days killed 918 people, and left 215 missing and thousands homeless.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who is in Rome for Pope Francis' inauguration mass, has called Rio's governor Sergio Cabral, offering federal aid.
The governor said he is working alongside local authorities and has released three million reals (1.51 million U.S. dollars) in emergency aid.