Rio floods leave at least 12 dead, Church mobilizes aid

By Javier Bolaños |
Rio flooding
Streets, homes, and the city's subway line were severely damaged by the impact of the floods / Brazil Evangelical Alliance

At least 12 people were killed and one more is missing after heavy rains caused flooding in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, state governor Claudio Castro told a press conference.

Castro also confirmed that some 2,400 soldiers from the Fire Department were deployed for cleanup and rescue work from the beginning of the heavy rains, with the support of drones and sniffer dogs.

Streets, homes, and the city's subway line were severely damaged by the impact of the floods, prompting Rio's mayor, Eduardo Paes, to take immediate action to control the consequences and save lives.

"We are working at this time primarily to relieve the suffering of people whose homes and streets were flooded," the mayor said in a post via the X social platform.

Christian Solidarity

In the face of the tragedy, several organizations and individuals have mobilized to help those affected by the floods, offering donations of food, water, clothing, mattresses, and other needs.

The Brazilian Evangelical Alliance (BEA), through its rapid response program for disasters and human emergencies called "Alliance for Life," is providing assistance in Rio de Janeiro.

BEA director Cassiano Luz asked for prayers "for all those affected by this tragedy and the catastrophes that have been caused by the extreme weather effects in our country. Pray for the churches that are in the affected regions and that now become important points of support".

At the same time, the evangelical organization issued a call for more volunteers to participate in the relief efforts.

Meanwhile, the government of Rio de Janeiro also announced the creation of an emergency fund to assist victims and the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.

Authorities asked the population to avoid leaving their homes unless necessary and to follow the recommendations of the Civil Defense, which maintains the red alert for risk of new floods and landslides.

Most intense rains in 90 years

The volume of water accumulated in the city reached 259 millimeters in just six hours. The value exceeds what was expected for the whole month of February: 238.2 millimeters.

According to O Globo newspaper, data from the National Center for Natural Disaster Monitoring and Warning indicates that Petrópolis - a municipality in Brazil, located in the state of Rio de Janeiro - has not faced such heavy rains in 24 hours in at least 90 years.

"It was like a scene from a horror movie," dentist Lucas Ribas described to BBC Brasil what he witnessed in Petrópolis. "In the center of the city there were many bodies, many dead people who were washed away by the rain, drowned, crowded somewhere or trapped in cars."

According to the National Meteorological Institute, the rains are expected to continue in the coming days, although with less intensity.