6 Jan 2012

Thousands evacuated after dam bursts in Brazil

12:18 pm on 6 January 2012

A dam has burst in northern Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil, forcing the evacuation of nearly 4000 people.

Rising water levels on the Muriae river due to torrential rains caused a breach in a bridge that serves as a dyke protecting the town of Campos do Goytacazes.

Television pictures showed residents fleeing before advancing floodwaters.

The water has reportedly risen by 3.5 - 4 metres.

Floods caused by heavy rains have also left eight people dead and forced the evacuation of more than 15,000 people in southeastern parts of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.

Flooding and landslides left more than 1000 people dead or missing in mountainous parts of Rio de Janeiro a year ago.