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Flooding, Mudslides Kill at Least 102 in Rio de Janeiro

Authorities in Brazil say at least 102 people have died in landslides and floods, set off by the heaviest rains in decades in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Heavy rains began Monday and have continued into Wednesday. Officials say a record-breaking 28.8 centimeters of rain fell in the city of Rio de Janeiro in a 24-hour period.

Officials say mudslides swept away many buildings in the city's hillside slums.

Schools are closed for a second straight day Wednesday. Rio state Governor Sergio Cabral has called for three days of mourning for the victims.

Rio mayor Eduardo Paes told reporters the situation improved Wednesday, but he continued to urge people to stay home and off the streets. The forecast calls for the rains to continue until Friday.

Rio - which will host World Cup soccer (football) matches in 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games - ground to a near halt Tuesday. Mayor Eduardo Paes urged residents to stay home.

Flights into and out of Rio were canceled or delayed and many streets are under water, stranding some motorists and leaving cars submerged.

Officials say potential mudslides threaten at least 10,000 homes.

Heavy rains in December and January also triggered flooding and mudslides that killed dozens of people in Rio de Janeiro state, including 10 who died when a mudslide struck a resort hotel.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.