General view of the flooded area near Porto Seguro, in Bahia State General view of the flooded area near Porto Seguro, in Bahia State 

Brazilian Church mobilizes to help flood victims

Brazilian bishops launch a national solidarity campaign to help out tens of thousands people hit by a cyclone in Bahia an Minas Gerais.

By Lisa Zengarini

At least 10 people have died and some 20,000 have been evacuated following recent storms and floods caused by an extra-tropical cyclone that hit part of the Brazilian States of Bahia and  Minas Gerais.  38 municipalities in Bahia and 31 in Minas Gerais have already requested the state of emergency.

At least 70,000 people affected

Overall at least 70,000 people have been affected. Many people have had to flee their homes because of the floods and the risk of landslides and are being hosted by friends or in public facilities.

Businesses, clinics, schools and public offices are also submerged.  In several cities, the water supply has been cut off. In addition to floods and landslides, the rains have caused the rupture of two dams in Apuarema and serious damages to roads accessing to some cities, such as Eunápolis and Itabela, making emergency relief operations difficult.

Bishops express closeness to the victims

The Catholic bishops of the region have expressed their closeness to all the people affected, noting that they are already worn out by the COVID-19 pandemic , which, they say "is not over yet and has left behind poverty and hunger”.  “Unfortunately, due to the lack of adequate public housing policies and basic sanitation, the poor are the hardest hit by floods and landslides and the loss of their homes and property and the loss of their homes and material assets. There are many homeless families who need our support”, the bishops further note.

Solidarity campaign

In the face of this this dramatic situation the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) and Caritas Brazil have launched a solidarity campaign under the hashtag #SOS Bahia e Minas Gerais: Solidariedade que Transborda. The campaign will raise funds for the purchase of food, drinking water, clothing, diapers for children and adults, items for personal hygiene and protection against Covid-19. Relief goods will be distributed by the diocesan Caritas in the most critical areas, to help the thousands of homeless people.

14 December 2021, 12:09