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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Utah resident among thousands trapped in Brazil because of devastating floods

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SALT LAKE CITY — Catastrophic ​flooding in​ southeastern Brazil has​ left thousands of people stranded and displaced, with entire cities ⁣submerged under water.

Among those affected is a 24-year-old man from Tooele, Collin McEachern, who had flown to⁤ Porto Alegre for a two-week vacation with local friends. Unfortunately, his holiday took a disastrous turn.

“I had planned a ‍brief visit here,” McEachern explained, having arrived in Porto Alegre, ‌located ‌in the ‌Brazilian state of‍ Rio Grande do Sul, on April 26. He noted that the weather took a turn for ​the worse‌ almost immediately after his arrival.

“The⁢ rain was relentless and intense,” McEachern recalled. “They have never experienced this ⁤level of rainfall.”

By May 1, McEachern reported that evacuations were taking place in Canoas,⁢ a city ⁣with a population of 350,000 situated just north of Porto Alegre, a ​city‌ home to 1.3 million people.

“The city I’m ⁤currently ⁣in is half-submerged,” McEachern said. “Mathias (Velho), ⁢a city where hundreds of ⁤thousands of people reside, is‌ completely under water.”

McEachern and 11 others⁢ are currently sharing a ​two-bedroom Airbnb located on higher ground. They ‌have electricity but lack running or drinking water.

“We’re using chlorine ‍and pool water⁢ for personal hygiene. We fill up buckets‍ from the pool and bring them back up,” McEachern explained.

Despite his⁣ situation, McEachern considers himself fortunate. ​According to the BBC, at least 95 people have lost their lives, dozens are ⁣missing,⁢ and 155,000 have been displaced.

The airport in Porto Alegre ​is closed due to flooding, making travel‌ out‌ of the area challenging.‌ Many roads remain flooded or are ⁢congested with people ⁢trying to escape the disaster zones.

“The most populous part of the city has been swept away. I can’t even begin to comprehend what ‌those​ who have lost everything are feeling,”‍ McEachern said.

McEachern spends his days purchasing and distributing essential supplies from shelter to shelter.

The ⁤Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is also contributing to⁤ humanitarian​ efforts. They have converted ​21 meetinghouses into temporary shelters run by volunteers and have donated thousands of basic food packages to Brazil’s civil defense. The Church ‌is also planning ⁤to send a plane from Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre with supplies on​ Thursday.

“Everyone is doing what they can,” McEachern said.

Collin ‍is accepting donations through Venmo to buy supplies in Porto Alegre.

For more‍ information, click here.

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Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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