Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Flooding in Rio

I am not sure if you have heard or not (depends on your news source, I guess), but we are having really bad rain and flooding here in Rio. It started yesterday afternoon and honestly hasn't stopped at all. It is the worst rain in over 40 years - we have had nearly 13" in 24 hours. Some of the rain has been really intense, too.

Most streets are entirely flooded - I saw one that people were walking in that was flooded to their waists. At the big stadium here, the field is totally under water. The lake where I run has completely flooded its banks (do lakes have banks, or only rivers?), and you can see from our window that it completely covers the running path and some of the street. Many people had to sleep at their offices last night and are stranded, or they had to abandon their cars in the streets. I saw a picture of a bus at the entrance to a tunnel that had been abandoned - it was completely covered in water.

The governor has declared a state of emergency, and nobody had school or work today. I know that the daughter in this family has already had school called off for tomorrow as well. The biggest problem isn't even the flooding, it is the mudslides. Most of the poor people here live on the mountains (the favellas are usually on the mountains -- makes it easier for the drug lords to sit at the top and run), and their shanty houses clearly are not built to code or in safe places. The land, when this saturated, isn't enough to hold them. As a result they are estimating nearly 100 people have died so far and many more have lost their homes. The governor called for the evacuation of certain areas, equating remaining in those areas to be quasi-suicide.

I guess this is really weird for this time of year - usually in January it rains a lot (like it did this year in Sao Paulo), but April is not a time for such heavy rains. It better clear up soon, because my friend Jenny is coming to visit at the end of April and Mom comes in the beginning of May -- I couldn't be more excited for their visits!

Here are some of the stories if you want to see them:
GLOBO - you will have to translate this one - they also have a picture gallery of people hitching up to trucks and wake boarding through the streets.

Keep the people here in your thoughts and prayers, please...they need it.


  1. I am excited for my visit too, started some reseach! Until then be safe.

  2. So glad you posted last night. I have been watching the news of the flooding and worrying about you. Glad you are safe.
    I am praying for the flood victims. How hard this is for the poor.

    Enjoy your upcoming visitors.

    Love and peaace, Grandma