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Cablegate: Severe Flooding in Southern Brazil

VZCZCXRO0101
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHSO #0630 3311017
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261017Z NOV 08
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8741
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 9897
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 4247
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8928
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 3335
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 3582
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 2811
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 2582
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 3991
RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000630

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID CASC PREL BR
SUBJECT: SEVERE FLOODING IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL

1. (U) Heavy rains in the Southern Brazilian state of Santa
Catarina have left at least 68 dead and over 50,000 homelesss.
Santa Catarina State Governor, Luis Henrique da Silveira reported
that this is the worst climatic tragedy faced by Santa Catarina
state in its history. He said heavy rainfall over the last 60 days
has caused havoc in the state with destruction of highways, homes,
plantations and human life. He said that the floods are affecting
1.5 million people and that the federal government is sending rescue
teams, medicines and food supplies.

2. (U) There are 352 American citizens registered in the affected
area, but there are no reports of casualities among the American
community. However, the situation is still developing and
communications are limited.

3. (U) Mission Brazil has been in touch with Santa Catarina State
Deputy Secretary for International Affairs, Celso Eduardo Flores to
discuss an offer of disaster relief from USAID's Office of Disaster
Assistance (OFDA). The Deputy Secretary requested that we
coordinate our response with their Director of Civil Protection,
which we agreed. He also understood that we would channel our
funding via Caritas Brazil. USAID has agreed to send a two person
assessment team to the region to assess the situation.

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