The death toll from mudslides in Brazil's colonial-era city of Petropolis rose to 104 on Thursday and was expected to increase further as the region reels from the heaviest rains in almost a century this week.

Iran PressAmerica: Rio de Janeiro state's government has confirmed 104 deaths from floods and mudslides that swept away homes and cars in the city of Petropolis. But even as families prepared to bury their dead, it was unclear Thursday how many bodies remained trapped in the mud.

According to Brazilian sources, more than 500 rescue workers, along with neighbors and relatives, were still searching for possible survivors, the emergency services said. A preliminary tally suggested at least 35 more people missing.

Brazil’s economy ministry said state secretaries across the country decided to allow Rio de Janeiro to extend payments of the ICMS state tax, which is levied on goods and services, for 180 days in light of the disaster.

"At this stage, we have recorded 104 deaths and the firefighters have found 24 survivors," the locality's Civil Defence said amid a particularly deadly rainy season in Brazil.

The state fire department said 25.8 centimeters of rain fell within three hours on Tuesday -- almost as much as during the previous 30 days combined. Rio de Janeiro’s Gov. Claudio Castro said in a press conference that the rains were the worst Petropolis has received since 1932.