• Outdoors Outdoors

Devastating and ongoing flooding uproots hundreds of thousands of citizens in a matter of days: 'I have no idea where I'm going'

The floods have left many without power or water.

The floods have left many without power or water.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The flood waters in southern Brazil have disrupted daily life, transforming streets into rivers and uprooting hundreds of thousands of citizens in a matter of days.

What's happening?

Unprecedented flooding in Brazil this May has destroyed roads, broken bridges, and forced entire neighborhoods to flee. Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, has called the situation "catastrophic." The floods have left many without power or water. It is estimated that more than two million people were impacted by heavy rainfall, and over 600,00 have been displaced.  

One group of people who were rescued after being cut off by rising water waited more than ten days for help. Doctors Without Borders has brought help to the region. They have set up mobile clinics to tend to victims. Their response also includes providing remote mental health training for professionals in Brazil who are assisting in the recovery.

Why is Brazil's flooding so concerning?

More than 165 people have died in the floods, with many more still missing. The Brazilian government is calling it a "climate disaster," according to the BBC. Many of Brazil's residents are facing an uncertain future.

"I have no idea where I'm going, but it will be somewhere far from the river, where our lives will not be at risk," Cassiano Baldasso, a businessman from Muçum, told Reuters

Baldasso was the victim of flooding for the third time in seven months. The fire brigade saved his family from a flood in September after they were forced to climb to the roof of the home and wait for help in the middle of the night.

The number of people being displaced in Brazil is making this one of the country's largest migration events in recent history. According to the Zurich Insurance Group, there could be 1.2 billion climate refugees by 2050. The insurance company says, "A collective effort is needed to solve the issue of climate migration and help the 'world's forgotten victims' of climate change."

What's being done to help the flood victims?

The Red Cross network has mobilized volunteers from neighboring regions in Brazil to help victims of the flooding that began back in late April. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has mobilized almost two dozen Rapid Response Team members to help direct relief operations. The Red Cross is asking for donations to support their mission.

Scientists are concerned that the events playing out in Brazil will become more common as our world warms. We can all do our part to help limit the toxic gases that are increasing in our atmosphere and helping to overheat the planet. Something as simple as changing the way we plan our summer vacations can help.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider