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Dharamshala: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of Tibet on Friday, has sent Brazil his condolences, prayers and solidarity following the recent floods that engulfed some parts of that country this week.

In a letter sent to President Dilma Vana Rousseff dated 14 January, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama offered his prayers and condolences to those who lost their lives and the families and others affected by the recent devastating flooding in Brazil."

Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama said "he is deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives and property as a result of what is considered the worst natural disaster in Brazil's history that has ravaged the south-eastern parts of the country".

President Dilma Rousseff visited the affected areas and described the catastrophe as "overwhelming and shocking."

Thousands of people have been rendered homeless as ravaging flood waters inundated thousands of residential homes. Rescuers are using helicopters to search for survivors in the worst hit areas of Teresopolis, Nueva Friburgo and Petropolis. Heavy rainfall continues to hamper rescue operations and the fear of increase in death toll keeps on mounting.

At least 350 people were killed as torrents of water and mud swept through the several mountain towns near Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, burying many families as they slept. The heavy rains also killed 13 people in Sao Paulo state on Tuesday. The total official number of people killed in the floods is not clear, but media reports from that country indicate that it might have climbed to 500.

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