<ul><li>In the mountainous regions this torrential rain triggered mud slides. Mud poured down the mountain sides burying many sleeping people and their homes and cars. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Casualties occurred in the cities of Nova Friburgo, Teresopolis, Petropolis, Sumidouro and Sao Jose do Vale do Preto. </li></ul>
Teresopolis, 62 miles north of Rio de Janeiro was the worst hit. ‘It is the biggest catastrophe in the history of the town’ said the Mayor.
A 55 year old maid described the scene as being ‘like a horror film’ and said she saw a baby ‘carried away by a torrent like a doll’ as the child’s mother tried in vain to save it.
Thousands of people in the affected regions were cut off from electricity and telephone contact and 1000 people in Teresopolis alone lost their homes. In Sao Paulo, the state capital and brazil’s biggest city, major roads flooded, paralyzing main thoroughfares. People died in collapsed homes.
In Sao Paulo, the state capital and Brazil’s biggest city, major roads flooded, paralyzing main thoroughfares. People died in collapsed homes .
Downpours dislodged hillsides which enveloped houses, hotels, roads and churches in a sea of mud. Eventually 903 people were reported to have died, with over 17 000 left homeless.
One man, after seeing the water-damaged and badly decomposing body of his father, chose to stop searching for his wife and son’s bodies. ‘Let those buried beneath us rest in peace.’ he said. He began carrying supplies to neighbours. ‘We have to help the living’ he said . TRAGIC STORIES AND SIGHTS WERE EVERYWHERE :
People in mountainous areas were cut off from towns for days. Initially firefighters tried to help, at least 5 losing their lives in mudslides.
Eventually help came from helicopters as roads were cut off by the floods. Often in the two weeks following the flash flood, helicopters were grounded by more heavy rain .
RAINFALL <ul><li>The </li></ul>The Brazilian summer regularly brings torrential rains, with flooding and mud slides becoming more and more frequent…BUT the Brazilian Media, International Observers and even some politicians admitted that the disaster was entirely forseeable and largely preventable.
In the year before the tragedy ‘not even half of the budget intended for the prevention of disasters was used.’ Money set aside for drainage was not used!
The real cause of the tragedy was the ‘failure of the authorities.’ Debarati Guha-Sapir, the director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre for Research on Disasters said:
‘ Rains are natural phenomena, but these people died because they have no political weight whatsoever, and there is no political will to resolve their dramas, which are repeated year after year.’
‘ What drives the poorest people to dangerous areas is a longstanding housing policy in Brazil’, said Justice Minister Jose Cardozo. ‘ In addition to the question of rainfall, we have a social question.’ ‘The government has failed to provide any public housing alternative! House prices are beyond the reach of the vast majority.’
COMPARISON OF DEATHS BETWEEN RICH AND POOR AREAS: Richer areas have better, stronger infrastructures. In Santa Catarina state only 5 dies even though 17 000 fled their homes. In the richest state in the country Sao Paulo, 25 people died.
But in the poorer regions, where people lived on mountain sides, over 800 people died.
Brazil needs urban planning to plan long term to avoid forseeable tragedies.
FLOODS BRING: <ul><li>Physical damage to land and buildings. </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of human life and livestock. </li></ul><ul><li>Water Contamination. </li></ul><ul><li>Disease. </li></ul><ul><li>Crops and food supply shortage. </li></ul>
In Brazil the January 2011 floods have threatened Brazil’s most important coffee and sugar production. Brazil is the world’s leader in coffee production and is the largest per capita sugar-producing nation in the world: excessive rainfall and flooding could hurt crop production and the ability to harvest the crop.
ORGANISATIONS WHO HELP : <ul><li>Global Medic recognized the great need for clean drinking water and as a result air-freighted 50 000 PUK Purifier of Water sachets to local partner Saude Brasil Net, through Procter and Gamble. </li></ul><ul><li>Doctors Without Borders (DWB) sent 2 medical teams to run mobile clinics in Sao Jose do Vale do Rio Preto and Noval Friburgo. </li></ul><ul><li>DWB sent teams with doctors, nurses and psychologists. </li></ul>
<ul><li>UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund investigated and advised on the special needs of children through this crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>SOS Children’s Village accept contributions towards sponsoring a child who is orphaned by the Brazil floods. </li></ul>
LA NINA: <ul><li>La Nina is a periodic climate pattern which results in cooling sea temperatures of the tropical Pacific Ocean, which brings about more rainfall in the Western Pacific. </li></ul>
DID LA NINA CAUSE THE BRAZIL FLOODS? <ul><li>Opinions differ but most weather experts believe the link between La Nina and the Brazil Floods in indirect. Each La Nina has a different character so more research is necessary to understand whether La Nina can be blamed for the Brazil Floods. </li></ul>
The more likely culprit was a pocket of above average sea-surface temperatures in the southwest Atlantic that promoted low atmospheric pressure and an increased tendency for heavy rainfall.
CONCLUSION: <ul><li>Water is crucial for human existence, in fact, an adult is made up of about 60% water. 75% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, making it the only known planet in our solar system to be able to support human life. </li></ul><ul><li>HOWEVER when water builds up to dangerous levels and causes disastrous floods as it did in Brazil 2011, we can see the human and environmental impact of such a water related disaster. </li></ul>