At least 26 people were killed yesterday after a massive mudslide in an island resort in Brazil.

The incident on Ilha Grande was the worst in a recent spate of slides and flooding that has claimed the lives of at least 64 people across south-eastern Brazil.

A separate mudslide in the nearby coastal city of Angra dos Reis hit a slum, killing at least 13 people and reducing shacks to mere rubble.

The mudslides early on New Year's Day were triggered by 10 inches of rain which had been falling on the area since Wednesday.

Fernanda de Oliveira, an eyewitness of the Ilha Grande mudslide, told O Globo newspaper, "We came to celebrate the new year and then all this sadness happened."

Oliveira was staying next to the Pousada Sankay resort, which was destroyed by the mudslide. She heard a rumble in the middle of the night but "couldn't see what was happening. It was raining hard and the water was leaking into our house. Suddenly, we saw people in the sea and we went down to rescue them."

The hillside collapse sent the resort and homes into the sea and left a 1,000ft scar of slicked mud across the rain forest.

Meanwhile, three people have died following an avalanche in the French Alps ski station of Les Arcs on Friday. Their bodies were found yesterday.