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Thousands Flee Brazil Floods

A motorist stands on the edge of a break in highway BR 356 that was washed away after several days of heavy rains swelled the Muriae River in Campos, 230 kms (142 miles) northeast of Rio de Janeiro, January 5, 2012.

Flooding and mudslides from days of heavy rain in southeastern Brazil has forced thousands to flee their homes.

In Rio de Janeiro state Thursday, authorities say flooding on the Muriae River caused a dike to break, sending water through the town of Campos do Goytacazes.

Officials say more than 4,000 people had to be evacuated.

Days of heavy rain have also caused flooding and mudslides in Minas Gerais state that have killed eight people and displaced at least 10,000 others.

Rescue crews, including the military, have been helping people move to temporary shelters.

Historically, January is a rainy month in Brazil. Heavy downpours a year ago created flooding in the mountainous areas of Rio de Janeiro state that killed more than 800 people.

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