04/04/2011

The final programmed activity for the Compass Rose group was a visit to one of the several areas affected by heavy rainstorms and mudslides which have killed nearly one thousand people and displaced more than twenty thousand.

The unusually strong rain, which meteorologists say occur only once in every 350 years, caused entire slopes to collapse. Natural lakes flooded as well, turning narrow streams into dangerous torrents which destroyed houses and even buildings in a matter of minutes.

In the Cuiabá Valley area, about 80 people died and several others were displaced. Carine Cunha, who teaches biology at the Anglican School of Araras, showed the group the place she used to live. Her family managed to survive by finding refuge at a neighbor’s house which had a second floor where they were able to find safety. Their house, which until then had never been affected by floods, was quickly covered by water and is now condemned. They are restarting their life from scratch elsewhere. All of their possessions were lost.

IEAB has been working with ecumenical relief organizations and with the local government in order to rebuild the destroyed areas and provide housing for people who were left homeless after this catastrophe. The presence of a group from so many churches of the Anglican Communion is a reminder of the partner churches which have sent much needed donations through the Brazilian Church.

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Luiz Coelho

Communications WG Member

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