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Search Continues for Brazilian Mudslide Victims

Rescue crews in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state are continuing to search for survivors of mudslides that have killed at least 53 people in the southeastern coastal region.

Rescue teams were out in force Saturday after the mudslides and flooding triggered by heavy rains struck several coastal resort towns Thursday and Friday.

Mounds of mud destroyed a hotel and buried homes in the beach town of Angra dos Reis. A similar slide was reported on the island of Ilha Grande.

The coastal region is marked by steep coastal hillsides that gave way in many areas after at least three days of rain earlier in the week

Officials say hundreds of tourists were at the resorts to celebrate the New Year's holiday.

Rains had subsided Saturday but, officials fear heavy rains forecast for the next few days could trigger more mudslides.

On Thursday, mudslides and floods killed 19 people across the state. Most of the deaths occurred as shacks in poor areas collapsed under mud and rain.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.