At least 13 were killed Sunday night (March 17th) and early Monday (March 18th) morning when heavy rains swept through the state of Rio De Janeiro triggering flash floods.

Local authorities said 13 people were killed in the city of Petropolis about 40 miles (65km) north of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Petropolis' fire department claims that a series of landslides, brought on by heavy rain and flooding rivers, caused the majority of deaths.

Authorities and volunteers in and around the city of Rio de Janeiro initiated rescue operations when many streets and homes were overwhelmed by flood waters.

"We're monitoring the phone calls people are making to the Civil Defence of Duque de Caixas and in the meantime the (river) level is above the normal level, but there is no longer an imminent risk," said an unidentified volunteer.

Some residents were forced to flee their homes as flood waters quickly rose up under the intense rain.

"I came home from church and went to lie down. I woke up to my husband calling me to come and look at the river which was full. I only had time get my dog and some documents. I called and my father and my child and then we went for higher ground," said Jaqueline dos Santos Silva.

President Dilma Rousseff reportedly called the Governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, Monday (March 18th) morning, to offer any support affected areas might require.

Presented by Adam Justice