Heavy Rains in Southern Brazil Trigger Landslides, ADRA Responds
SILVER SPRING, Md. – In late March, heavy rainstorms over southern Brazil led to flooding, triggering destructive landslides carrying fallen trees, rocks and other debris through several cities, destroying the homes of thousands now left with little or nothing. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) assisted victims of this disaster with emergency food rations and other essentials.
Immediately following the heavy rains, ADRA responded through the distribution of food baskets and hygiene kits to 500 households, approximately 2,500 people, in the southern states of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul. Each food basket is composed of rice, beans, oil, wheat flour, pasta, salt and sugar, and is sufficient to sustain a family of five for eight days. In addition, hygiene kits have been distributed which support a family of five for one month.
The distribution will be carried-out in coordination with the Brazilian Defense Force and Red Cross to prevent duplication of aid. This will ensure the maximum numbers of beneficiaries are reached without overlap. Priority will be given to the elderly, female-headed households, and families with disabled children.
According to reports, Parana state has sustained widespread damage, with 3,000 houses seriously affected or destroyed, an estimated 31,000 people displaced, and taking the lives of three others. Infrastructure, bridges and roads have been impacted, halting movement from coastal towns to Parana’s capital city, Curitiba.
Eyewitnesses in the capital city of São Lourenço described the floods as an avalanche of water rushing through the city and eventually into their homes. The downtown area was inundated by the overflow of the Sao Lourenco do Sul creek, and added to the damage of houses, road infrastructure and fallen bridges. Rescue teams worked tirelessly to save 1,500 people from their rooftops, however, 2,000 remain displaced, 200 injured and eight are now dead. This flood is being called the worst catastrophe in the region.