Torrential rains that thundered across the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro left four people dead and wide areas flooded or without electricity, authorities said Friday.
The wind and rain storm that began around 9:00 p.m. Thursday and went on for several hours caused flooding, mudslides and considerable destruction in Rio de Janeiro city.
Two of the four fatalities were killed by falling trees and another was struck by lightning.
Meanwhile winds of up to 97 kph (60 mph) that lashed the city's west side knocked down trees and caused traffic and safety problems.
That part of the city, as well as other neighborhoods and towns in the surrounding state, suffered power outages and in some areas electricity had not yet been restored by noon Friday.
On the north side of the city, mudslides damaged six houses, though nobody has been reported injured, authorities said.
Municipal officials said that in eight shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro city, the security measures established for such conditions were put into operation and residents in those communities evacuated their homes as a preventive measure. EFE