Rio De Janeiro, Jan 24 (Agencies): The official death toll from Brazil's mudslide disaster on Sunday rose to 803 as more bodies were recovered.

In the worst-hit town of Nova Friburgo near Rio de Janeiro, 389 deaths were recorded, and in neighbouring Teresopolis the toll rose to 324, according to the national Civil Defence agency and Department of Health.

In the town of Petropolis the toll rose to 65, and 22 in Sumidouro. Another three bodies were uncovered in nearby towns.

The previous confirmed toll from the flash floods and mudslides that struck the Serrana mountain region near Rio de Janeiro on January 12 was 759.

Officials meanwhile reduced the number of people counted as missing from 430 people on Saturday to 417 as a number of people were found alive or bodies were identified.

A total 13,830 people were forced to abandon their homes in the region, either because they were destroyed or deemed unsafe, according to Rio's health service.

The full extent the disaster, reported to be the worst natural catastrophe in Brazil's history, was not yet known, with many people still in areas cut off from land access receiving help from helicopter crews.