At least 12 people were killed in Salvador early on 27 April after torrential rains caused mudslides in the northeastern Brazilian city.

Heavy rain, which started late on 26 April, caused scores of mudslides, two of which turned deadly and destroyed dozens of homes built on the hillsides on the outskirts of the city.

Area residents rushed to pitch in as they tried to locate people who remained unaccounted for under the rubble of the homes.

"We want the authorities, firefighters, the police here to help us," one resident said.

The death toll is likely to climb as residents and emergency crews continue to search for the missing. Local news outlets also reported that a 12-year-old and a 16-year-old were both among those killed.

Near one of the mudslides, homes in the area remained at risk as they teetered on the edge of a 40 metre hill. It rained about 7.8 inches in about 24 hours. That figure is about 65% of what is normal for the month of April.

The forecast for the city called for more rain Monday night meaning there was the risk of additional mudslides.