People watch water run through a washed-out road Thursday in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state.

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4,000 in Rio de Janeiro state are evacuated after floodwaters open a 20-meter-wide crater

Rains have caused problems in Minas Gerais state, killing 8 and spurring 10,000 to be evacuated

January is traditionally a wet, rainy and sometimes deadly month in January

Sao Paulo, Brazil CNN  — 

Brazilian authorities on Thursday said they were evacuating 4,000 people in the state of Rio de Janeiro after days of heavy rains burst a river dike.

According to the Municipal Civil Defense, floodwaters opened up a 20-meter-wide crater in the highway outside of Campos dos Goytacazes, which is about 275 kilometers (170 miles) northeast of the coastal city of Rio de Janeiro.

Heavy rains across southern and central Brazil have also wreaked havoc in the state of Minas Gerais, an inland state to the southeast of the nation’s capital of Brasilia.

This wet weather spurred mudslides and flooding that earlier killed eight people and forced another 10,000 to leave their homes. This state has declared a state of emergency in 71 towns.

January is usually a month with heavy rains. A year ago, more than 800 people died due to floods in the state of Rio de Janeiro.