The town of South Saint Lawrence, Brazil, suffered an unprecedented flood on March 10th. A tsunami-like wave invaded half of the urban area, flooding the homes of 20,000 people and reaching 10 feet (3 meters) in less than an hour.
Hundreds of homes are still covered with thick mud. People are piling up their damaged belongings in front of their homes. Flood insurance is not common in Brazil, and the population in need is significantly large. Many streets, sidewalks, and even buildings were damaged or destroyed. The cleanup, reorganization, and rebuilding work is overwhelming. Total damages are estimated at around US$ 240 million.
Tap water is not suitable for consumption because of likely contamination of the system. A major public health issue is feared. In addition to drinking water, people need food, cleaning supplies, mattresses, household appliances, among other items.