Brazil: Floods in Minas Gerais - Information Bulletin n° 1

This bulletin is being issued based on the needs described below reflecting the information available at this time. Based on further updates and details from assessment reports, or should the situation deteriorate, the Federation will consider international support through an Appeal.
The Situation

Since 16 January, towns and villages in Brazil have been hit by incesssant rains that became particularly intense between 22 and 24 January. The impact of the rains is most severe in Minas Gerais within Sao Paulo, and thousands of people have been affected. According to statistics from the Civil Defence, since the floods began, 54 people have died, 101 people have been injured. In addition, 2,097 houses have been destroyed, leaving 10,410 people without shelter. A total of 45 municipalities have been declared disaster or emergency zones. City authorities are receiving support from the Civil Defence, the army, the fire brigade, the military police and the Red Cross branch of Minas Gerais. The Civil Defence is providing assistance in the priority areas of Belo Horizonte: Vila Cafezal, Taquaril and Morro das Pedras; in Contagem: Barrio Industrial and Vila Lemp; and in Raposos and Riberao das Neves.

Red Cross/Red Crescent Action

The Civil Defence is responsible for the definition of plans in response to disasters and emergency situations, as a result of which the overall Civil Defence plan includes the role to be carried out by the Brazilian Red Cross, as well as that to be undertaken by the fire brigade and the military police.

The Brazilian Red Cross response has focused on provision of clothing and food from the warehouses run by the Minas Gerais Red Cross branch, stocked through the response to on-going campaigns for local donations. The National Society, through its Minas Gerais branch, has distributed 12,420 pieces of clothing, 1,900 pieces of underwear, 850 pairs of shoes; 300 packets of powdered milk; 230 sets of household utensils and 902 toys. 50 volunteers from the branch assisted in distributions. Beneficiaries were selected in accordance with the priority needs identified by the Civil Defence and the State branch of Minas Gerais.

The German Red Cross has offered relief goods in order that the Brazilian Red Cross may further assist the affected population.

The Federation's Liaison Delegate based in Brazil is coordinating with the German Red Cross in the field. The Federation's regional delegation for South America and the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) are in communication with the Brazilian Red Cross, and PADRU is on stand by in the event of the need for further assistance on the part of the Federation.

For a full description of the National Society profile, see

For further details please contact :

  • The Brazilian Red Cross in Rio de Janeiro; Phone 55 21 22210658; Fax 55 21 5071538; email,;
  • Olaug Bergseth, Federation Desk Officer, Phone 41 22 730 45 35; Fax 41 22 733 0395; email;

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.

John Horekens
External Relations

Santiago Gil
Americas Department