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Clean-up begins after major flooding hits Rio

Three people died after torrential rain and strong winds swept through the city.

Torrential rain and strong winds on Wednesday night left a trail of destruction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday.

The rain was reported to be the heaviest in 20 years in some parts of the city.  Three people are known to have died. Two people were killed when their house collapsed, and a third person died in a landslide. 

Major roads were closed by the flooding, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded.

The Jobim International Airport was closed for a few hours overnight, resulting in some flights being diverted to Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte.

A section of the Tim Maia bike path, built for the 2016 Summer Olympics, collapsed on Thursday morning, but no one was injured.

The rain caused the Maracana River to overflow for the first time in two years. The neighbourhoods of Maracana and Tijuca bore the brunt of the flooding.

According to the Rio Alert System, the rains left the city at the highest alert level, with a risk of further flooding and landslides.

Rio receives the bulk of its rain during the southern hemisphere's summer. From November to April, monthly precipitation exceeds 100 millimetres.

The rain has largely cleared the city with only a low risk of showers through Friday and the weekend.

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