By Marcelo Duailibe, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Chief of Staff in Brazil, Gleisi Hoffmann, coordinated a meeting yesterday with representatives of five ministries to coordinate federal support to states affected by the heavy rain in the last week. New measures were reviewed with a focus on relief efforts in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo.

Minas Gerais floods, Brazil News
Minas Gerais is the state with the most damage so far, followed by Rio, image recreation.

In attendance were ministers; Gleisi Hoffmann (Casa Civil), Alexandre Padilha (Health), Aloizio Mercadante (Science and Technology), Fernando Bezerra Coelho (National Integration) and Paulo Sérgio Passos (Transport).

The results from the meeting are to be presented to President Dilma Rousseff today. The President is expected to return from recess to coordinate government actions to cope with floods.

Minas Gerais is the state that has reported the most sever losses from the flooding so far, with 103 municipalities in a state of emergency due to the damage caused by rains and flooding in early January.

According to the Civil Defense of Minas Gerais, twelve people have died and two are missing in the cities of Santo Antônio do Rio Abaixo and Reunião de Minas. There are 906 homeless people around the state and nearly 12,000 had to leave their homes.

All this is happening one year after the tragedy in the mountainous region of the State of Rio de Janeiro, known as Região Serrana, when over 1,200 people died or remain missing from the flooding and mudslides, the worst weather-related disaster in Brazil’s history.

While the Southeast is currently suffering from flooding, a major drought in the South, are effecting the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, where several cities are in an emergency situation.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.

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