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ACT Alliance Alert: Summer Floods Brazil Sao Paulo (10 January 2021)

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On the morning of Wednesday the 6 January 2021, the district of Sao Paulo in Brazil , was hit by summer storms. The São Paulo State is home of around 45 million people ranging from very vulnerable communities to well structure urban and rural areas. From the beginning of the pandemic, the state has been the epicentre of the COVID-19 in Brazil, with more than 1.5 million cases and 47,768 deaths until this day(https://covid19br.wcota.me/), a quarter of the national numbers.

Data from INPE (National Institute of Space research) and the State University in São Paulo (UNESP), shows that an outstanding season of summer storms will continue in the next months, with its peak from February to April, increasing the alert for areas hit by the floods in the first weeks of 2021.

In the São Paulo Municipality, the most affected districts are in the East and in the South of the city. In the East, the Jacuí and Jardim Santa Helena neighbourhoods are in an area that follows the river course of the Rio Tietê – one of the longest and most polluted rivers in Brazil. That river has a system of dams and barriers that overflows during the rainy season affecting the life of the most vulnerable communities alongside its course. In the south, the Grajaú district has many very poor communities living in the shore of the city’s larger reservoir in informal settlements.

This situation leads to at least 1200 families affected by the floods, causing food insecurity and very low health sanitation standards. The situation is especially bad for around 2400 children, in those areas, for a total 6000 people. Because of the fact that Summer Floods have started earlier than usual, it is expected that the amount of affected population will increase in the following months.