Death toll from Brazil heavy rain rises to 100

Authorities in southern Brazil say the death toll from heavy rain has risen to 100. Looting has been reported in affected areas, raising security concerns.

The heavy rain that began in late April has caused major flooding across the state of Rio Grande do Sul. In the state capital of Porto Alegre, the runway of an international airport and a soccer field have been submerged.

Local officials said on Wednesday that 100 people have been confirmed dead and 128 others are missing.

The disaster has reportedly forced more than 160,000 people to evacuate, and 1.45 million people have been affected, including by power and water outages.

Local media outlets say there were reports of looting at shops and houses and thefts of lifeboats.

The state of Rio Grande do Sul is a major grain producer in Brazil, accounting for 70 percent of the country's rice production.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said the country will import rice and other items if needed.