Brazilian authorities say a dam has burst in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais and there are fears of possible deaths.

A statement from the city hall of Mariana says the dam burst Thursday afternoon near a mining operation in a rural area about 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Rio de Janeiro.

Rescue teams are working to search for survivors or bodies.

So far there is no official word on how many people may have been killed or how many are missing.

Those living near the area have been told to evacuate to higher ground.