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Brazil: 'Worst natural disaster'

At least 125 members have lost their homes to flooding and landslides in what is being called Brazil's worst natural disaster in the past half century.

Meanwhile, priesthood leaders in the country were trying to establish contact with members living in the city of Nova Friburgo where a major landslide was reported, according to the Church's Welfare Department report Jan. 19.

All missionaries in the affected regions are safe and accounted for.

Incessant rain over a two-week period triggered fatal landslides and flooding in areas around Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Some 500 people have reportedly been killed in the cities of Nova Friburgo, Teresopolis and Petropolis. Scores are missing and the death toll is expected to rise and the rains continue, stated the report.

An LDS meetinghouse in Nova Friburgo has suffered "significant flood damage."

Area and stake leaders are attending to the needs of displaced members and are coordinating community response efforts with the country's civil defense office and the Red Cross.

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