Brazil: Floods DREF Operation update no.1 (MDRBR007)

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

A.1 Description of the disaster

On 14 July 2015, the Civil Defense of Rio Grande Do Sul declared an emergency at the municipal level, reporting flooding in several cities. The Uruguay River’s water level reached 13.57 meters; the river’s average water level is only five or six meters. This situation was a result of heavy rains in the region and the overflow of the Rio Gravataí and Arrollo Sapucaya Du. According information provied by Brazil’s Civil Defence, the rivers flooded 264 towns, affecting 283,140 people in the states of Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande du Sul, A total of 8,063 people were forced to seek shelter in evacuation centres. After the emergency in July, rains continued in the affected areas, affecting new places and once again flooding areas that were affected in July in some cases. As of October 2015, 7,488 families t have fled their homes, of which 1,283 are stayingin public housing and 6,205 families are staying with friends or relatives in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

On 1 October 2015, the state of Rio Grande do Sul, through Supreme Decree No. 52.591, issued a new declaration of emergency in 34 municipalities, including the municipalities of Cachoeira do Sul and Gravataí, where this operation is taking place; the state of emergency was for a period of 180 days. Last week, strong hail in the towns of Santiago in the central region affected 20 families while over 300 households and agriculture were affected in the Valle del Rio Pardo. The most affected cities were: Esteio, Riozinho, Sapucaia do Sul, Gravataí, Cachoeirinha, Canoas, Porto Alegre, Venancio Aires, Novo Hamburgo, Montenegro, Pelotas, Rio Grande and Arvorezinha.

Civil Defence has the situation involving the Uruguay, Caí and Sinos Rivers under control, and it has put security measures in place in the area. The increased flow of the Uruguay River has caused concern for the municipalities of Iraí, Rio Pardo, Uruguaiana, Itaqui and Barra do Quaraí. Similarly, in the case of Rio dos Sinos, the municipalities that might be affected by flooding are Novo Hamburgo, São Leopoldo, Esteio and Parobé. Montenegro and Sao Sebastiao do Cai. The monitoring continues due to the rivers’ slow return to normal water levels.