Nicelio Goncalves opens the fridge at his flooded home after...

Nicelio Goncalves opens the fridge at his flooded home after heavy rains in Duque de Caxias, Brazil, Sunday, March 24, 2024. Credit: AP/Bruna Prado

RIO DE JANEIRO — Heavy rains in Brazil this weekend killed at least 23 people in the southeastern states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo.

Espirito Santos' state government said Sunday that 15 people died and almost 5,000 were out of their homes due to heavy rains falling since Friday night. Rio authorities reported eight deaths Saturday.

Thirteen deaths in Espirito Santo were registered in Mimoso do Sul, a countryside city 74 kilometers (46 miles) south of the state capital, Vitoria.

Rescue teams in both states had to stop their work Friday night because of risks of new landslides, with efforts restarting Saturday afternoon.

Mayors and governors of Brazil's southeast region had alerted residents of potential problems for the weekend since Thursday.

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