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Brazil mudslides affect thousands

BY HEATHER MOYER | Baltimore, MD | August 3, 2000

Most of the evacuees are staying in schools and other shelter the government is

finding for them. Lack of electricity and food in many areas is making the evacuation process difficult.

The mudslides hit Pernambuco and Alagoas, some of the poorest states in Brazil. The Brazilian

government is assessing damages and reported that emergency funds should be released in five days.

Troops have moved in to help clear roads and dig out neighborhoods.

World Vision already had community development groups in the region before the mudslides hit.

Those groups are now focusing on disbursing donated items, such as clothing and food, to the affected

areas, according to Sheryl Watkins of World Vision. Watkins said that about 300 families of children that

World Vision sponsors have lost their homes. She estimates that rebuilding the houses costs roughly

$200 per house, and said that World Vision will donate at least $100,000 to start off the relief process.

World Vision will release more about their assistance as the damage assessment goes on.

The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee had no staff in Brazil but is currently waiting to hear

from their World Missions division as to whether or not they will respond.

Forecasts for the area don't look positive as both regions are expecting more precipitation over the next

few days.

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