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Violent storm sweeps over Rio de Janeiro, flooding streets and stoking mudslide fears

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Lightning lights up the the sky over Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Jan.16, 2014. An alert was called by Rio authorities due to heavy rains and the possibilty of floods in the city. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)The Associated Press

A violent lightning and rain storm has swept across Rio de Janeiro, flooding streets and knocking out power in some neighborhoods.

Sirens warning residents of the danger of mudslides sounded in several areas of the city.

Each year across Brazil, hundreds of people die in mudslides, almost all happening in ramshackle slums often precariously built up steep hillsides.

Rio's domestic airport shut down for about an hour during Thursday's storm as did ferries that take commuters from Rio to the neighboring of Niteroi.

The storm passed after 90 minutes, but there was no word on when power would be restored for tens of thousands of residents.