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Sao Paulo declares state of emergency over Brazil truckers' strike

Striking truck drivers block a main road outside Sao Paulo

The mayor of Sao Paulo declared a state of emergency in Brazil's economic capital Friday due to a five-day-old truckers' strike that has left the country virtually paralyzed.

The measure would allow city authorities to "seize private goods such as fuel, for example, that is stored in a service station," the mayor's office said in a statement.

It also plans to set up a crisis committee and, if the shortages continue, may declare a public holiday.

Other measures that could be adopted include the suspension of non-essential administrative work to protect fuel reserves in the city of more than 12 million people.

The truckers have attempted to put a stranglehold on movement of goods in Brazil to protest fuel price rises.

The walkout has left much of the country virtually paralyzed and caused acute shortages of food and fuel.