The Salvation Army's response to flooding and landslides in Brazil – now known to have killed more than 650 people – is growing by the day. Donated goods, including much-needed mattresses, were taken by truck from São Paulo and São Miguel Paulista to The Salvation Army's Lar do Méier Community Centre in Rio de Janeiro in readiness for distribution. Some goods will go to the town of Areal, which has been identified as a priority area, and some to Petrópolis, where 58 people were killed. The truck will remain in the area for use in the emergency response.
A meeting in Rio with the Director of the General Department of Civil Defence, Colonel Rossi, confirmed that The Salvation Army's participation will initially be concentrated on providing logistical support. Donations from the fire department in Vila Isabel are being directed to the most critical areas as defined by Civil Defence.
Supplies are being taken to Santa Maria Madalena and 10 tonnes of donations, along with goods from the city of Joinville, are scheduled to be taken on Wednesday to Teresópolis, where 276 people died.
The Salvation Army’s Territorial Communications Director for Brazil, Major Téofilo Chagas, who is coordinating the Army’s response, is now being assisted by Major Jorge Silva from Santa Cruz, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, and Cadet Fagner Castanho, who is on summer assignment.
Over the coming days Major Chagas plans to visit the places affected by the disaster so that he can determine where The Salvation Army's assistance is most needed.