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Brazil Flood Relief

Flood Victims in Brazil Need Your Help!!!

 

Click here to read blog updates about our flood relief work.

Flooding and massive mudslides from unexpectedly heavy summer rains have hit the mountainous Serrana valley areas northwest of Rio de Janeiro. The affected areas received the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain in just a few hours with rivers over a dozen meters high running down the city streets, washing away power poles and burying housing with families inside. Landslides and floods are common in Brazil, often affecting poor communities with poor structural housing built on steep, unstable hillsides, but this widespread devastation is being called the worst natural disaster in decades.

 The hardest hit are the cities of Nova Friburgo, Teresópolis, São José do Vale do Rio Preto, Areal, Sumidouro and a part of Itaipava. Nova Friburgo and Teresópolis were almost completely devastated, leveling houses and throwing cars in the air. Areal was 70% destroyed. Flooding has also affected Petropolis and Sumidouro. Over six thousand are left homeless and are living in local gymnasiums and schools with another 8,000 in temporary housing as officials advise residents to abandon their homes in the disaster area and move to safer ground. Phone lines, internet, and electricity are down in many of the effected communities, making it difficult for families to connect with each other and access to the basic necessities. Cities have been isolated for many days, but now volunteers and resources are now reaching the communities.

On Monday, Brazilian authorities sent hundreds of National Force emergency rescue crews and military helicopters to protect neighborhoods and re-establish communication that has been cut off from help by smashed roads and washed out bridges. The military will also try to clear some of the blocked roads which have forced rescuers to reach some of the worst-hit areas on foot. The Brazilian Air Force installed a communication centre in Itaipava, so people could make phone calls and access data in their attempts to track down missing relatives.

The death toll is rising daily as bodies are found in the deep mud, many unidentified. At present close to 800, it is anticipated that hundreds more are not yet found. The army and navy also pledged heavy digging machinery, ambulances and generators.

Working closely with Fraternity and under the guidance of Sergio, our volunteers of Voice of A Child centered in Petropolis, were some of the first response to São José do Vale do Rio Preto. We are also working with AMURT/EL to develop a longer term relief efforts to the victims. Our pickup trucks arrived with a lifeline of food, drinking water, and clothing donated by the citizens of Petropolis. We are continuing to serve the community on a regular basis with basic supplies, but we need funds to continue to reach out to the remote mountain communities.
 
Please click the ‘Make a donation’ button situated in the upper right hand bar of this page to donate using Paypal to Brazil Flood Relief project.

 

Click here to read blog updates about our flood relief work.