SAO PAULO (AP) -- Authorities of the southern Brazil state of Rio Grande do Sul said Friday that three people died and 12 were missing after a winter storm swept through the region.
Gov. Eduardo Leite said two people died in the city of Sao Leopoldo and one was killed in Maquine, on the state's coast.
"Our priority at the moment is to find those missing and save people who might still be isolated due to the floods," Leite said on Twitter. He said President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva offered federal help to handle the crisis.
Several roads were still blocked in Rio Grande do Sul, flights to the state's main cities were cancelled throughout the day and electricity was out across state.
Mayors of cities that were affected said twice as much rain fell in 24 hours than would normally be expected for the entire month of June.
The mayor of Maquine said on his social media channels that precipitation in his city surpassed 29.4 centimeters (about 11 inches) in one day.
Experts said the storm was an extratropical cyclone, a type of weather system that most often occurs in middle and high latitudes rather than in the tropics.
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