Brazil

City in southern Brazil devastated by tornado

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Edited by: Augusto Queiroz

At least 10 thousand people suffered the consequences of a tornado that hit the municipality of Xanxerê last Monday (Apr 20), according to figures from the Civil Defense of Santa Catarina state. Over a thousand were forced out of their homes and a preliminary report reveals that 2.6 thousand dwellings were affected. The authorities have also announced that 300 people have been given medical assistance and 120 hospitalized.

State Governor Raimundo Colombo and Civil Defense Secretary Rodrigo Moratelli visited the areas most severely damaged by the twister, whose winds may have reached 250 km/h. Residents have been provided with tarpaulin rolls, mattresses, and emergency housing and basic food kits. Officials from the neighboring municipality of Jaraguá do Sul have also sent over mattresses and blankets.

Colombo is expected to pass on Wednesday (22) a decree declaring state of public calamity, signed by Xanxerê's City Hall. This is the first step towards allowing aid to come from state and federal agencies to assist locals and repair part of the damage.

Gilberto Occhi, head of the National Integration, who saw the wreckage personally on Tuesday (21), said that the federal government will support the process of reconstruction of Xanxerê. “We'll work to reestablish the city—with energy, cleaning up the streets, in a joint effort with the city hall. A large number of homes have been hit.”

Also in an attempt to help residents withdraw money from emergency funds and have new documents issued, a mobile unit is expected to arrive in the next few days, sent by the Ministry of Labor.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira