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More than 500 people have been killed in the mountain towns of Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state, with officials fearing that the toll will go higher as massive flooding and mudslides continue in the region.

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Weeks of unrelenting rains triggered a series of landslides in the Guatemalan town of Alaska on the Pan-American Highway, burying as many as 300 people. President Alvaro Colom warned that thousands more people are at risk as the government runs out of money to deal with the crisis.

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As many as 200 people were buried in another landslide resulting from heavy rainfall, this time in a shantytown near Rio de Janiero, Brazil, late Wednesday. Rescue crews were digging for survivors Thursday, but the outlook was grim, according to The Associated Press.

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