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Saturday, May 25, 2024

At Least 36 Dead and Hundreds Displaced as Brazil Tackles Floods and Landslides

Along with transportation, additional critical infrastructure has also been hit. The heavy rains have displaced a large amount of mud, stones, logs, branches, and other materials that are reducing the flow of treated water in the supply stations.

Governor of São Paulo state, Tarcísio de Freitas, has released 7 million Brazilian Real ($1.35 million) for the Civil Defense to act in aid to the victims of the heavy rains that have hit the North Coast of the state, causing loss of life and large-scale damage and disruption. 

The cities of Ubatuba, São Sebastião, Ilhabela, Caraguatatuba and Bertioga, were impacted by the heavy rains that hit the region and entered a state of public disaster, decreed by the state government on Feb. 19.

The rainstorms have killed at least 36 people, displaced hundreds more, and caused flooding and landslides. 35 deaths have been confirmed in São Sebastião – 31 in Barra do Sahy, two in Juquehy, one in Camburi, one in Boiçucanga – and one in Ubatuba. 

Teams from the State Coordination of Civil Defense, the Military Police, the Fire Department and the Brazilian Army continued overnight Sunday with search, rescue and rescue activities for victims. Governor Tarcísio de Freitas and the State Civil Defense Coordinator, Colonel Hengeel Ricardo Pereira, remain in the region and will meet with representatives of the Federal Government later today.

More than 130 teams, with the support of 23 vehicles and seven aircraft, are committed to the actions, which are concentrated in the region of Barra do Sahy and Camburi, in São Sebastião. Another 80 police officers will reinforce the activities from today. 

The Brazilian Army has authorized the use of troops and resources from the Southeast Military Command in support operations. The armed forces have provided two aircraft, an HM-1 Pantera and an HM-4 Jaguar, with their respective search and rescue teams. Technicians from the Pindamonhangaba Engineering battalion are also on hand to clear the BR-101 major highway along with state efforts across the transportation network, which has been heavily impacted. Some access roads to the region are banned due to the fall of barriers. 

Along with transportation, additional critical infrastructure has also been hit. The heavy rains have displaced a large amount of mud, stones, logs, branches, and other materials that are reducing the flow of treated water in the supply stations. In São Sebastião and Caraguatatuba, tank trucks are providing emergency supplies to public equipment until the system is regularized. Technicians continue to work to restore water supply systems on the North Coast and Baixada Santista.

Brazil’s Secretary of State for Health said on Sunday that the regional hospitals on the North Coast and São José dos Campos are at full capacity to care for victims of the rainstorms. Both units are on alert to receive possible injuries from the disaster that hit the region, and, if necessary, can make extra beds available. Other health units in Baixada Santista, Alto Tietê and the Capital are also able to receive the wounded. The state is also providing health supplies and medicines to send to the rescue teams that are in the affected regions.

Read more at the State of São Paulo

author avatar
Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.
Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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