Brazil: While Flood Brings Minas 8 Deaths and State of Emergency, Drought Hits South

Flood in Minas Gerais The latest reports from the civil defense of Brazil’s southeastern state of Minas Gerais, where above-normal amounts of rain have been falling since October, is that 71 municipalities are in a state of emergency, 9,864 people have had to leave their homes and an additional 500 are considered homeless.

The death toll attributed to the rains has now reached eight. Overflowing rivers and landslides have blocked various state and federal highways making it difficult to supply and assist disaster areas in the state.

According to the governor, Antonio Anastasia, who visited disaster areas yesterday, “The situation is very grave, we are shocked by what we have seen.”

Anastasia added that some 50 million reais (US$ 27,000) was spent in Minas Gerais on disaster prevention, an amount far below what the state requested, but he praised the performance of the state’s civil defense saying they had prevented an even greater tragedy and calling their operations “positive.”

In the state of Rio de Janeiro, 72 hours of heavy rainfall in the north and northwest regions of the state have now left six municipalities in a state of emergency.

In Santo Antonio de Pádua there are 12,000 people who are considered displaced and 1,200 homeless due to flooding and landslides. Another 5,000 people had to leave their homes in Itaperuna. It should be recalled that exactly a year ago rainstorms in the same area killed over 900 people.

In the south of Brazil, the big problem, however is lack of rain. 54 cities in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul have now declared state of emergency. This Thursday morning (January 5) anole, seven new cities were added to the list published by the state’s Civil Defense: Redentora, Tupanciretã, São Paulo das Missões, Travesseiro, Boa Vista do Incra, Toropi and Nova Boa Vista.

Another 29 cities have already sent a Preliminary Notice of Disaster (Nopred), the last step before declaring state of emergency. In all, according to the Civil Defense, 302,717 people were affected by the lack of rain.

After an uproar in the Brazilian press Brazil’s minister of National Integration, Fernando Bezerra Coelho, denies benefiting his home state, Pernambuco, in the distribution of funds for the prevention of natural disasters.

The ministry headed by FBC, as the minister is known, controls a Prevention and Preparation for Disasters fund that is run by the National Secretary for Civil Defense (Sedec). The total amount released by Sedec in 2011 for disaster prevention was 216 million reais (US$ 117 million). Out of that total, 98 million reais (US$ 53 million) went to Pernambuco

FBC claims that any analysis of disaster prevention spending cannot be based exclusively on Sedec outlays, pointing out that approval of such spending went through the Presidential Chief of Staff (Casa Civil) and the Ministry of Planning and that additional funding for disaster prevention is distributed by the Ministry of Cities.

As for the disproportionate amounts of Sedec funds going to Pernambuco, the ministry cited the floods of 2010 in the state that left 18,000 families homeless and 80,000 displaced, destroying hospitals, schools and bridges.

According to FBC, Pernambuco got more money because it had urgent needs and presented projects that were ready to be undertaken. The minister added that the decisions to fund projects were based on technical criteria.

ABr/Bzz

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil’s Cardoso: ‘The World Changed, But the Left Stayed the Same’

Shortly after the November 2, 2004 United States election, Brazilian Senator Cristovam Buarque paid ...

Kaftans, Abayas and Hijabs Are a Hit in Brazil Too

International clothing brands and retail chains are making room in their stores for the ...

Brazil Promises Light for All by 2008

Brazil’s "Light for All" program will provide electricity for more three million Brazilian this ...

Brazilian black

Quotas Are the Brazilian Way to Keep Things as They’ve Always Been

Recently a young black man asked me if I saw a relationship between race ...

Lobini, Brazil’s Answer to Fancy Sports Car, on the Road to the US

Brazil has gone back to producing sports cars. Last weekend, Lobini Automóveis, car factory ...

US Indicts Brazilian Indy-500 Champ Castroneves on Tax Evasion

Brazilian car racer Hélio Castroneves, 33. a resident of Coral Gables, in Florida, and ...

Same Old Team

As expected the PFL (Partido da Frente Liberal—Liberal Front Party) got the lion’s share ...

Steel Production in Brazil Falls 9%

Brute steel production in Brazil totaled 4.707 million tons in the first two months ...

Brazil Leads Production of Yellow Fever and Rabies Vaccines

Exports of yellow fever vaccines by Brazil’s Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) have grown no ...

List of Alleged Cuckolds Disrupts Until Now Peaceful Brazilian Town

That's all they talk about in Lagoa da Prata, a little town in the ...