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Brazil is watching live this morning as workers struggle to clear debris from a landslide in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro state, that buried as many as 40 houses and stores, and a day care center, built on a former garbage dump last night at around 10 p.m.
Officials estimate that at least 200 people are still buried under the earth in the area known as Morro do Bumba, and that there is little hope of rescuing anyone else. At this point only six bodies have been recovered.
The rescue effort is being complicated by potential chemical contamination from the former dump, which was closed in the 1970s, according to TV Record. The state secretary of the environment is on the way to the scene.
Rains started Monday and continue into today. About 150 people have already died in the state, mostly in landslides in favelas, homes built illegally on hillsides. Niteroi, which is across Guanabara Bay from the capital city of Rio de Janeiro, has suffered the most losses.