Aerial view of flooded areas in Encantado city, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, taken on May 1.
© AFPAerial view of flooded areas in Encantado city, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, taken on May 1.
At least 10 people have died in floods caused by torrential rains in Brazil's south, authorities said Wednesday, as rescuers searched for nearly two dozen individuals reported missing.

Deluges in the state of Rio Grande do Sul have displaced some 3,300 people in more than 100 municipalities, many of whom have been moved to shelters.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced he would visit the area, which governor Eduardo Leite said was dealing with "the worst disaster in the history of our state."

Leite said work was continuing to locate the missing even as more heavy rains were forecast.

And he appealed for help in the form of people "trained for situations of chaos and war."

Persistent rains have destroyed bridges and blocked roads, leaving several communities in the state completely cut off.

"We lost everything, everything, all the food, everything we had in the house," Adriana Salete Gas of the city of Santa Cruz do Sul told local media.

"Our house is two meters high and it still flooded."

Authorities have urged people to avoid areas along state highways due to a risk of mudslides, and those who live near rivers or on hillsides to evacuate.

Since Tuesday, rescuers and soldiers have been scrambling to free families trapped in their homes, many stuck on rooftops to escape rising waters.

The state's deputy governor, Gabriel Souza, said damages have been estimated at $20 million.

At least 11 people have been injured and nearly 20,000 affected in other ways by the floods, officials said.

Bad weather has hampered the rescue efforts, often in hard-to-reach places, and the death toll has continued rising from an initial five reported Tuesday.

Lula wrote on X that he would visit the area Thursday "to verify the situation."