Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why it's better to be a flood victim in Australia rather than in Brazil

According to a comparative study by Globo into the number of deaths registered in the recent floods in Australia and Brazil, 700 more people died in Brazil than Australia

The primary cause for this would seem to be the lack of advance warning. The Australian government disaster plan resulted in a much lower loss of life – less than 100 people. Due to their advance warning procedures people could evacuate their properties and go to shelters where they found volunteers waiting to help them. In Brazil the sheltering and volunteering were arranged after the damage was done. 

Hundreds of lives could have been saved if the Brazilian government had bothered to monitor the weather and texted people. An elderly man in Australia was alerted 40 minutes before a coming flood and reached a shelter in time. Some houses weren't completely devastated either because of the prevention measures.

Now the Brazilian government talk about allocating billions to cover the flood losses and most importantly in reducing bureaucracy to make sure it gets to where it’s needed quickly.

This only makes it clearer that they had the means to reduce the impact of the floods on the people. These floods have been happening for at least 10 years in Brazil now and it's not getting any better. Ex-president Lula liked to sell the idea that he was the people's ¨father¨. In this case he let his children down. Let’s see how quickly his successor Dilma fixes this mess.