Deadly mudslides, flooding in Brazil

Cars are seen in a flooded street in the city of Franco da Rocha, in the north of Sao Paulo state, Brazil, March 11, 2016.

Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO -- Mudslides and flooding caused by heavy downpours have killed at least 16 people, including a 4-year-old boy, in low-income neighborhoods on Sao Paulo's outskirts, Brazilian officials said Friday.

Capt. Marcos Palumbo of the Sao Paulo Fire Department told reporters that mudslides destroyed several houses, killing nine people in the city of Francisco Morato and four in Maripora, where another eight people are reported missing.

Three people drowned when they were swept away in floodwaters, one each in the cities of Guarulhos, Cajamar and Itatiba.

The heavy rains that began Thursday night shut down Sao Paulo's International airport for six hours.

Images aired by television stations showed cars covered by water in Francisco Morato and Maripora as well as in parts of Sao Paulo.

The rains also halted commuter train service for several hours.