More than 255 people lost their homes, and one person died during the Capivari River flood in Xerém. Xerém is in the district of Duque de Caxias, 31 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. More than 8 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in the mountainous region, and a state of alert is in effect because of the mudslides that have killed hundreds of people in the past, according to State Secretary of Health Sergio Cortes.
Dr. Sergio Cortes visited the region immediately after the tragic event, and he urged people to donate food, and especially water to the survivors of the flood. The area is in desperate need of drinking water, according to Dr. Cortes. But along with the clean water issue, there is a mounting garbage issue. Garbage is accumulating, and that is creating a breeding ground for infections. Water-borne diseases could create another major crisis for the residents of Xerém, according to Cortes.
The Cortes medical team is passing out antibiotics, and the group is trying to disinfect the water supply in order to prevent an outbreak of dengue, leptospirosis, or the Zika virus. Those diseases are spread by mosquitoes. The team is also training the residents, so they become aware of the symptoms of those diseases, according to a recent post by Extra.Globo.com
Clean water is a priority. The Cortes team is using more than 10,000 bottles of sodium hypochlorite to disinfect the water in the city. City leaders want another calamity kit sent to the region according to the Extra article, and Dr. Cortes believes the city needs one. The first kit is helping but a second kit will certainly compliment the effects of the first kit, according to wikipedia. The city does have a hydration center in place, and it can serve more than 300 people.
This is not the first flood to hit the Xerém region. Because of the city’s location, natural disasters happen in the area frequently. Xerém has a history of adjusting to the natural disasters that occur in the area. But citizens of Xerém always appreciate help from their fellow countrymen.
Dr. Cortes and his team are doing all they can to stop the spread of disease in the flooded area, but donations are needed to get the city back to normal. Donors can read about Dr. Cortes on his LinkedIn page. But a hundreds of people follow him on Twitter.