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Monday, 29 January, 2001, 16:40 GMT
Fatal floods sweep Portugal
blocked car
Road to nowhere: a civil defence car blocked by the floods
At least five people have died in northern and central Portugal, which is suffering violent storms, floods and landslides.

The bodies of a mother and her two small children were recovered from a house in Vila Real, 250km (150 miles) north of Lisbon, after it was swamped by a landslide.

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Rescuers search for a woman and her children buried by a mudslide
Another man was killed when his car was swept into a ravine by a landslide and an elderly man died when out cycling.

Many people are still reported missing.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes and the floods have disrupted rail and road traffic.

On Monday a cargo ship sank in heavy seas of the Portugese coast. It had been taking on water amid crashing seven metre high waves.

Eight ports have had to be closed due to the bad weather.

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See also:

07 Nov 00 | Europe
Western Europe in eye of storm
24 Oct 00 | Europe
Floods kill five in Spain
12 Oct 00 | UK
Floods cause chaos
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