Monday, 1 December 2008

Floods in Santa Catarina

The national and internal media has given a lot of coverage to what seems to have been the worst flooding in history in the State of Santa Catarina.

As a result we have received a lot of anxious emails and phone calls from clients and partners from all over the world, specially asking if is still safe to travel here. So, I thought it was a good idea to give you an insider's account of the problem to put minds at ease.

Our Spring has been, without any doubt, the wettest on record, and the situation was made worse by 4 days of non-stop rain. In some places it rained three times the montlhy average in only 2 days. This happened due to a combination of meteorological phenomena that are very rare. All this rain led to localized floodings, landslides, disruption to roads, and, tragically, to loss of lives around Santa Catarina.

Similarly, there was heavy rain in some other parts of south Brazil, including the coast of ParanĂ¡, but there was not much damage to the region.

However, the situation is back to normal in most of the State. The flooded areas that are repeatedly been shown on TV and newspapers around the world are in the Itajai Valley, in the north of Santa Catarina. This is a very low and flat region that has large rivers that burst their banks. The terrible landslides also happened in those areas. So, although it is a grave situation for those affected, the disruption now is restricted to those areas.

The areas of Santa Catarina most visited by tourists are the Central and Southern Coast, the inland mountains and Santa Catarina Island, in Florianopolis. On these areas there was no significant disruption to infrastructure and, as such, life goes on as normal. The sun has been shining for most of the last week in this part of the State and the forecast for December is of dryer weather, with the normal ocasional summer showers.

The livelihood of many Catarinenses is dependent on tourism and especially on the income generated by summer visitors, so we make a plea for visitors not to cancel their holidays, not only because their experience will not be affected, but also because Santa Catarina will desperately need these vital funds to reconstruct those towns and to help the affected people to get on with their lives.

4 comments:

Shimi said...

Thank you for your reassurance that travel to Santa Catarina island remains safe for this summer. Can you please tell me what are the road conditions from Sao Paulo to Florianopolis? We want to drive from SP to FLO in late December. We are not sure if highways are closed.

Theresa said...

I know there are bank accounts set up for donations within Brazil, but do you know of any international sites? Thanks.

Brazilecojourneys said...

Shimi

At the moment there are two points in the BR-101 North and one in the BR-376 that are partially interrupted but traffic is passing. Until the end of the month the roads should be repaired. You can keep an eye on the situation on this link:
http://www.clicrbs.com.br/diariocatarinense/jsp/default.jsp?uf=2&local=18&section=Geral&newsID=a2315872.xml

Brazilecojourneys said...

Theresa

As far as I know there are only accounts within Brazil, but I am sure Banco do Brasil branches abroad will also receive donations. I will look into that and try to give the information later.