I was going to comment on last weekend’s shootings in Tucson, AZ but another tragedy has recently hit my former home country. In the very mountainous state of Rio de Janeiro, heavy seasonal rains have caused landslides that have caused the deaths (as of this writing) of almost 600 people, and countless others have lost their homes.
The situation is pure chaos – the city of Teresopolis has sustained the heaviest losses with almost 300 dead (including many children). Entire homes were destroyed, and thousands have been left with absolutely nothing. In Sao Jose do Vale do Rio Preto, the country home where the late maestro Antonio Carlos Jobim wrote “Waters of March” collapsed before the eyes of his grandson, composer and arranger Daniel Jobim, according to a report published on O Estado de Sao Paulo.
Morgues and cemeteries are overcrowded with the bodies of the victims of the landslides, and of course those who survived are suffering. The government’s response has been slow – but the fact that many of the bridges that lead to the affected areas have collapsed doesn’t help.
In light of this tragedy, I urge all who can help to do so. Here in the US, several organizations (including the Red Cross) are taking donations of non-perishable food, food ready for consumption (pasta and soup dehydrated or dried product, biscuits, cereals) powdered milk, blankets, bed linen and towels, cleaning supplies and toiletries (soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, maxi pads, toilet paper, geriatric and baby diapers, shampoo, razors, combs, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, detergents, medicines for first aid and pain relievers.
The organizers have asked donors not to send clothing.
Donations should be sent to BR Courrier Warehouse in the New Jersey, 423 Ferry Street, Newark, NJ 07105.
For monetary donations send to:
ABN AMRO Bank NY – New York
Swift (BIC Code):
Clearing Code: CHIPS 0958 / ABA 026009580
Account Number: 574071517442
Beneficiary Bank: Banco Santander (Brasil) S.A
Swift (BIC CODE) ABNABRSP
Beneficiary Name: CRUZ VERMELHA RIO DE JANEIRO
I count on all of you to help out.