Brazil: Floods Claim Lives; Displace 3,000 Families

Torrential rain caused major flooding in Rio de Janeiro claiming lives and displacing thousands of people. (Google Images)

Anna Kaiser, contributing reporter to The Rio Times , is reporting that torrential rains tore across Rio de Janeiro state late last week, taking 2 lives and displacing 3,000 families, and leaving a path of destruction. The government has announced plans to relocate families from high-risk areas across the state, which also brings controversial hardships to many irregular housing and favela communities. Xerém is the region hardest hit by the storm.

Mayor of Duque Caxias, Alexandre Cardoso stated, “through a study by the Secretary of the Environment, there will be a program for rehabilitation of the river banks and a relocation of the people who live there. Rio state’s Governor Sergio Cabral also approved a payment extension for the damaged areas.”

Recognizing that heavy rains like those of last week are inevitable, the State Geological Survey identified that 67 of Rio’s 92 municipalities have areas at risk for landslides. Of those, 49 exhibit points of imminent risk and have over 36,000 inhabitants.

President of the State Geological Survey, Flávio Erthal told o Globo that for the study, they “flew [over] all these areas to map the points of imminent risk. The situation is alarming. But it is not a problem that started today, but sixty years ago, with the migration of much of the population from the countryside to the cities, occupying areas without adequate prior planning.”

You may recall that areas near Rio de Janeiro flooded in January 2011, with the death toll reaching nearly 300 people. Something has to be done to stop the continued devastation to the area and the people.

Read more at The Rio Times.

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