Cyclone in southern Brazil kills at least 31

Police officers check a house as residents wade through a flooded street after floods caused by a cyclone in Passo Fundo. Credit: AP

At least 31 people have been killed after a cyclone swept through the southern Brazil state of Rio Grande do Sul.

It is the state's worst weather disaster in history, said Governor Eduardo Leite, and the highest death toll due to a climate event ever recorded.

More than 60 cities were battered by the storm, which was classified as an extratropical cyclone, causing severe flooding.

A total of 15 of the deaths occurred in one singular house in the city of Mucum.

The governor said one of the dead was a woman who was swept away during a rescue attempt.

“I regret the death of a woman in a rescue attempt over the Taquari river,” Mr Leite said on social media.

“The wire broke, she and a rescuer fell. Unfortunately the woman did not survive and the rescuer is seriously injured.”

The Rio Grande do Sul state government said it had recorded 1,650 people that have been made homeless since Monday night.

TV footage showed families on the top of their houses pleading for help as rivers overflowed their banks.

Mucum's city hall recommended that residents seek out supplies to meet their needs for the next 72 hours.

Rio Grande do Sul was hit by another extratropical cyclone in June, which killed 16 people and caused destruction in 40 cities, many of those around state capital of Porto Alegre.

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