Victoria couple launches GoFundMe for family, community in Southern Brazil following floods

Victoria couple launches GoFundMe for family, community in Southern Brazil following floods
Photo: Matt Silva
Landslides caused by heavy rains destroy homes in Porto Alegre.

Victoria residents Matt Silva and wife Thamy Soares find themselves still in shock days after learning about what local authorities are calling the worst climate disaster ever to strike southern Brazil.

Their families in their home state of Grande do Sul have been left stranded and homeless since heavy rains that began last week caused rivers to flood, inundating whole towns and destroying roads and bridges.

“Last Thursday, May 2, was when we first heard about it. I got a message from my parents saying that there had been a landslide near the house where they were and all the mud destroyed all the houses there, so they had to flee at 2 a.m. and they didn’t even have time to grab their cars and their wallet,” says Silva.

“If they were just a few minutes late they would’ve been completely smashed by the house which crumbled from the mudflow.”

The full report can be viewed below:

Landslides near the city of Porto Alegre destroyed his parent’s house along with three others where their relatives live.

Two days later, in another city, Canoas, flood waters rose to three metres impacting 14 houses where Silva’s aunts, nephews, and nieces live.

Soares’ family fortunately was spared from the flood but the heavy rains cut off electricity and left them without water for days now.

“My dad was collecting water from the rain to drink, to flush the toilet. It’s a chaotic situation.”

Story continues below

The state capital of Porto Alegre has been virtually cut off by the flooding, with the airport and bus station closed and main roads blocked.

“We cannot go to south Brazil right now to help our families even if we wanted to, so with our resources, we started making videos with English translations that we shared online to spread awareness of the damage caused by the floods and landslides,” said Soares.

Both of their families are safe at the moment, but like thousands in Brazils’s southern Rio Gande do Sul state, they still lack water and electricity as floodwaters inundate entire towns.

Residents are left with empty supermarket shelves and closed gas stations, with shops rationing sales of mineral water.

The Silvas have been talking to the Brazilian community here in Victoria who have families in the flooded state to raise funds for south Brazil.

They started a GoFundMe page to help their families and the community with a portion going to safe institutions in Brazil that are directly involved with the rescuing, shelter and feeding those impacted by the recent flooding.

Rescue teams are racing against the clock to look for people trapped in their homes and  deliver aid to flood-stricken communities in southern Brazil before the arrival of new storms forecast to batter the region again in the coming days..

Harry CorroHarry Corro

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!