IP - A cyclone has left at least eleven people dead in Brazil's southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, authorities said on Saturday.

Iran PressAmerica: A severe weather system has battered southern Brazil leaving at least 11 people dead while searches are taking place for 20 others who are missing.

"According to the state branch of Protection and Civil Defense, 11 people died from the effects of the cyclone," the government of Rio Grande do Sul state said in a statement.

Governor Eduardo Leite said that a 4-month-old baby was among those killed.

Helicopter searches are being conducted for 20 people who have been reported missing amid torrential rain caused by the storm.

Deaths were reported in seven cities, the governor said.

"This first moment, since Thursday night until now, is especially to protect human lives, support and rescue people," Leite told the media at a briefing on Saturday with other authorities.

The town of Caraa, which is home to more than 8,000 people, was among the worst hit with heavy flooding being reported.

"The situation in Caraa deeply worries us. It is essential that we can, in an organized way, quickly map the main affected areas and identify the people who need support," Leite said.