SAO PAULO (XINHUA) – Brazil mobilised its largest warship on Thursday to assist victims of landslides caused by last Sunday’s heavy rains, which killed 49 people and displaced over 2,500 others in the coastal area of Sao Paulo state.
The aircraft carrier arrived at the port of Sao Sebastiao, the municipality hardest hit by the worst rains ever recorded in Brazil, with Minister of Integration and Regional Development Waldez Goes and Minister of Ports and Airports Marcio Franca on board. Goes announced upon arrival that the government will invest an estimated BRL60 million (USD11.6 million) on reconstruction and assistance to the victims.
While the army, firefighters and volunteers searched under the mud for dozens of people still missing after the landslides in the hills surrounding the exclusive beaches of Barra do Sahy, Baleia and Camburi, the Navy mobilised the aircraft carrier Atlantico, 200 metres long and capable of carrying 1,400 people and 18 aircraft.
The ship will serve as a safe port for logistics and assistance to the injured, along with the reconstruction of neighbourhoods, since the main roads in the northern part of Sao Paulo were destroyed or disabled, and as a mobile hospital with 28 doctors, including specialists in general surgery and orthopedics, as well as anesthesiologists, pharmacists and nurses.
According to Agencia Brasil, the ship also carried marines to assist the Civil Defense in road clearing and rescue efforts.