Guyana expresses solidarity with Brazil following devastating floods


In the wake of devastating floods in Southern Brazil that have claimed the lives of over 80 and displaced over 120,000, President Dr. Irfaan Ali has extended a message of solidarity and sympathy to Guyana’s neighbor to the south.

In an official letter to Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, President Ali noted that Guyana stood behind Brazil in its time of need and that the country was deeply saddened at the loss of lives and the devastation wrought by the severe flooding.

“On behalf of the Government and people of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, I wish to convey profound sympathy to the Government and people of Brazil in the wake of the recent heavy rainfall and flooding which occurred in the State of Rio Grande do Sul.”

“We are deeply saddened at the news of the loss of lives, the displacement of people and the widespread destruction caused by severe flooding in that region,” President Ali conveyed in the letter.

Expressing solidarity with the people of Brazil, who in addition to the official death toll are still to account for hundreds of people who are currently missing, President Ali paid tribute to the resilient spirit of the Brazilian people.

“I therefore, wish to express solidarity with the people of Brazil during this difficult time. I am confident that the determined and resilient spirit of the Brazilian people will triumph over this unfortunate tragedy. Please accept, excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,” President Ali added.

There have been a series of floods in the Rio Grande do Sul state, leaving 276 persons injured, 111 missing and 121,000 displaced. These statistics were provided by the Civil Defense agency in the state on Monday.

Additionally, over 850,000 persons in 345 municipalities were affected by the disaster, which also destroyed homes and infrastructure such as roads and bridges. As a matter of fact, over 60 roads have either been totally or partially blocked because of the flooding.

In addition, the Guaíba River water level rose again on Sunday morning to 5.33 centimeters, making it the highest water level in history. Waters from this river have flooded the historic center of the regional capital of Porto Alegre, a city of 1.3 million inhabitants.

Then there is also the city’s international airport, which was closed on Friday night as the flood had reached its runways. According to reports from out of Rio Grande do Sul, the airport remains closed.

The Brazilian President had also visited Rio Grande do Sul on Sunday to survey the affected areas and oversee the emergency response efforts. During his visit, the head of state made it clear that all levels of government have been mobilised to work together during the emergency.

“I am a man who believes very much in God. And I put my team of ministers at the disposal of this journey. I also called the representatives of the other powers. It was necessary to see closely, as we are doing here, to understand the scale of what happened and to help the population of the South,” Lula said afterwards.