Brazil: Floods and Landslides DREF Bulletin No. MDRBR001

Situation Report
Originally published


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

This DREF Bulletin is being issued based on the situation described below reflecting the information available at this time. CHF 95,000 (USD 77,900 or EUR 59,097) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to respond to the needs in this operation, or to replenish disaster preparedness stocks distributed to the affected population. This operation is expected to be implemented over 3 months, and will be completed by 19 April, 2007; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 19 July, 2007). Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and current situation

During the past month, heavy rains have caused floods and landslides in the States of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais in Southeast Brazil, leading to the death of 44 people to date. The rains have damaged homes and affected the local population. According to the information from the national Civil Defence, Rio de Janeiro is the worst affected State. Most deaths took place in the mountainous regions of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, where houses built in areas of risk were destroyed by landslides.

The dislodgement of mud from the Muriaé River already left two districts of Itaperuna, a city with 88,000 inhabitants, without water supply. The mud has also caused severe damage to homes.

As a result of these heavy rains, in the State of Rio de Janeiro 5,697 people have lost their homes and 6,143 have been temporarily displaced and are currently staying with friends or relatives.

The State of Minas Gerais has suffered from heavy rains since October 2006, which have killed 18 people and left 80 injured. The number of people who have lost their homes is 4,207 and 11,275 have been temporarily displaced. Army personnel were mobilised to support Civil Defence in the cities of Pouso Alegre and Itajubá.

Since the onset of the emergency, the Brazilian Red Cross has been working to support those affected. The branches of the affected municipalities in the State of Rio de Janeiro responded to the disaster by carrying out search and rescue activities and transporting at-risk population to safer ground in ambulances.

Through the National Department of Relief and Disasters, the Brazilian Red Cross has requested a report on the number of people affected and the damages caused from the Civil Defence State Coordinators in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. Branches are supporting those affected by the heavy rains through the distribution of humanitarian aid -such as clothing - at shelters in coordination with Civil Defence.

The Federal Government authorised an allowance of 57 million Brazilian Reales (USD 26.5 million) to help in the recovery of the damages. Civil Defence and the Government's Social Protection System have responded to the most urgent needs of those affected; nevertheless, further needs remain.

On request of the National Society, a Disaster Management Delegate from the Panamerican Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) was immediately displaced to Brazil to support the Brazilian Red Cross and its branches in the assessment, coordination and development of the Plan of Action.

After preliminary evaluations of the situation on the ground and the needs of the affected population, the National Society decided to request support from the International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) for a total of CHF 95,000 to support the Plan of Action and respond to the needs of 750 families affected from the floods and landslides.

Weather reports indicate that the weather is still unstable in the abovementioned States and that Civil Defence and Red Cross local branches should remain alert.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Brazil: Alexandre Galvão Fernandes - Acting Head of the National Department of Relief and Disasters, Brazilian Red Cross, email, phone (5521) 2827 7412, fax (521) 2507 1594

In Brazil: Maria del Mar Rodriguez, Organizational Development Delegate, Federation, email, phone (5521) 2242 3720, fax (5521) 2221 0658

In Peru: Giorgio Ferrario, Head of Lima Regional Delegation; email, phone (511) 221- 8151, fax (511) 441- 3607

In Panama: Stephen McAndrew, Coordinator, Federation Pan American Disaster Response Unit, Panama; email, phone (507) 316-1001, fax (507) 316-1082

In Geneva: Olaug Bergseth, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, Geneva;, phone (41 22) 730-4535, fax (41 22) 730-0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at