In the historic Rio de Janeiro municipality of Petrópolis, landslides left more than 100 dead. The disaster was because of once-a-century rainfall. The colonial-era hilltop city residents had to face a harrowing experience after the record rainfall.

Petrópolis is a popular summer resort area and used to be home to Brazilian royals. After the landslides, normal travel in the region became difficult. Initial estimates indicate a death toll of 110. Many of the dead were women. It was the worst in almost a century. Apart from the loss of lives, many people were missing.

The authorities deployed firefighters to carry out search and rescue operations.

The state fire department confirmed that 10 inches of rain fell within three hours. It was equivalent to the combined rainfall during the previous 30 days. The rains flooded the streets, swept away cars and buses, and left wide gashes on the mountainside.

The landslide destroyed 80 houses around the Oficina Hill

Cláudio Castro, the Governor of Rio de Janeiro, told the media: "It was the worst rain since 1932. It was a highly extraordinary rain." The Petrópolis city government talked about losing at least 80 houses in the Oficina Hill. Many residents from the region had to abandon their homes.

The city of Petrópolis is a favorite tourist spot.

It is also known as the "Imperial City" and the summer vacation destination for the Brazilian royalty in the 19th century.

The National Civil Defence has rescued 24 people alive. Videos on social media revealed the damage with vehicles floating in the streets. Recently, torrential rain led to floods and landslides in southeastern parts of Brazil.

It was a warlike situation after the landslide

In the words of Cláudio Castro: "The situation is almost like war... Cars hanging from poles, cars overturned, lots of mud and water still." In view of people reported missing, he assured that there would be no letup in search and rescue efforts.

Governor Castro mentioned that much of the regal charm of the city lay in ruins.

There was a large-scale loss of homes and shops because of the floods. Accommodation is provided in schools and shelters for those who have lost their homes. In order to extend assistance to these people, efforts are to call for donations of mattresses, food, and clothing apart from face masks.

This is the latest in a series of heavy rains to hit Brazil in the recent past. In the opinion of scientists, these are being made worse by Climate change. Petrópolis and nearby regions faced severe storms in January 2011. It took more than 900 lives due to floods and landslides.