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Burst dike forces thousands to flee Brazil town

Holger Bennewitz / Reuters

An aerial photograph shows a break in highway BR 356 that was washed away after several days of heavy rains swelled the Muriae River in Campos, 142 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro, Jan. 5, 2012. Civil Defense officials said the 4,000 residents of the town are being evacuated, and they expect the flooding to continue for three to four months.

AP reports: SAO PAULO — Civil defense officials say they are evacuating an entire town after floodwaters burst a nearby dike in southeastern Brazil.

The Civil Defense department of Rio de Janeiro state says the waters of the Muriae River are expected to reach the town of Tres Vendas by Thursday afternoon and its 4,000 residents are being taken to temporary shelters.

Elsewhere in Rio de Janeiro state, another 4,000 people were forced to leave their homes and three people were killed by heavy rains and mudslides in recent days.

Leonardo Berenger/Parceiro / AFP - Getty Images

People watch water run through the badly damaged Route BR-356, connecting Belo Horizonte and Sao Joao da Barra, in Rio de Janeiro State, after floodwaters burst a nearby dike on Jan. 5, 2012. The Civil Defense department of Rio de Janeiro state says the waters of the Muriae River are expected to reach the town of Tres Vendas and its 4,000 residents are being taken to temporary shelters. Eight people were killed in floodwaters or mudslides in the southern states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais in recent days, while thousands have been evacuated.

Leonardo Berenger/Parceiro / AFP - Getty Images

A girl stands on the top of the roof of her house, where her family has gathered belongings in Campos, Rio de Janeiro State, after floodwaters burst a nearby dike on Jan. 5, 2012.