At least 17 dead in Brazil's southeast due to rains

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 3 (Reuters) - At least 17 people have died in southeastern Brazil's since Sunday due to heavy rains in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, authorities said.

Twelve people died in Sao Paulo early on Tuesday and at least five people died between Sunday and Monday in Rio de Janeiro. The state of Sao Paulo said an additional 46 people remained missing.

Brazil has seen very heavy rainfall so far in 2020, especially in the country's southeast. Over the weekend, Rio de Janeiro authorities said the region received as much rain as was expected for more than half of the month of March.

The rains have also highlighted the country's weak infrastructure.

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In nearby Minas Gerais state, almost 50 died in late January due to rain, with 25,000 people being displaced.

One of the people who died early on Tuesday in Sao Paulo was a firefighter who was on duty helping victims. (Reporting by Debora Moreira Editing by Alistair Bell)

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