Brazil – Floods Affect 65,000 in Mato Grosso Do Sul

As many as 29 municipalities in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, have declared a state of emergency after heavy rain and floods that began in early January 2016.

The flooding is thought to have affected over 65,000 people. Some of the worst affected areas include the municipalities of Aquidauana, Miranda, Dois Irmãos do Buriti and Taquarussu. Acting state governor Rose Modesto visited some of the affected areas on 18 January, announcing that the state government had provided relief supplies, including food, medical supplies and bedding to affected communities in Aquidauana, Miranda and Dois Irmãos do Buriti.

In Miranda, flooding from the overflowing Miranda River has left 68 people homeless and a further 150 temporarily displaced. More than 120 people are homeless and 274 temporarily displaced in Aquidauana after the river of the same name overflowed around 12 January, 2016. Around 1,000 people were isolated by floods in Taquarussu. State Civil Defense authorities said on 13 January 2016 that they were able to reach the affected communities and deliver emergency and relief supplies.

Relief supplies for flood hit communities in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Photo: Government of Mato Grosso do Sul
Relief supplies for flood hit communities in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Photo: Government of Mato Grosso do Sul

The heavy rain began to fall in the state in early January. By 10 January, the heavy rain had prompted the state’s Instituto de Meio Ambiente (IMASUL) to issue a warning for potentially high river levels.

The next day, state governor Reinaldo Azambuja said that Mato Grosso do Sul had experienced its most intense period of rainfall for over 30 years. By that time, 22 municipalities had declared an emergency. Over 40 bridges had suffered damage. The governor said that the persistent rain had made it difficult for authorities to carry out repairs in the affected areas.

On 12 January, three rivers in the state – Pardo, Coxim and Miranda – had reached alert levels. The Aquidauana river by that point had already reached 8 metres, which is above emergency levels, according to IMASUL.

Over flowing rivers in Mato Grosso do Sul, January 2016. Photo: Government of Mato Grosso do Sul
Over flowing rivers in Mato Grosso do Sul, January 2016. Photo: Government of Mato Grosso do Sul

Paraná State, Brazil

The civil defence authority in the Brazilian state of Paraná, Defesa Civil do Paraná, reported earlier this month that heavy rain between 09 and 12 January, 2016, had caused widespread flooding in 49 municipalities of the state.

Flood damage in Parana state, Brazil. Photo: Orlando Kissner/ANPr
Flood damage in Paraná state, Brazil. Photo: Orlando Kissner/ANPr

Paraguay

The Brazilian states of Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul border Paraguay where over thousands have been displaced by flooding from the Paraguay and Paraná rivers since late December 2015.