By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Heavy rainfall in the Região Serrana in Rio de Janeiro state forced some 300 residents to leave their homes in Nova Friburgo, which was devastated by flooding and landslides at the same time last year. More floods hit the region yesterday after 135mm (over 5.25 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours - more than half the average forecast rainfall for the whole of January, meteorologists said.

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