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Source: Nymue de Medeiros, Yuri da Cunha, Mangel Newscast, Essentia Comunicação.

The early morning storm of March 1, 2020, displaced hundreds of families, northern West Zone of Rio de Janeiro.  The region is located between the Pedra Branca and Mendanha mountains. Most residents lost everything they had. Realengo was one of the most affected neighborhoods, which registered an accumulation of rain around 300mm, equivalent to 300 liters of water in a container of just one square meter. According to meteorological institute of Brazil (INMET) it rained 152mm more than expected. The floods caused landslides in the largest worldwide urban forest, at Pedra Branca State Park. A waterspout formed over at the Piraquara River, region’s waterfall, doubled the size of Catarino River. In the Barata community, close to Ocaibi street, the houses were seriously damaged and the thin layer of asphalt has broken, so the street became impassable. The water level reached about two meters tall. The resident Denilson Penudo, who has lived in Barata community for 23 years, said the flood and unfinished works made the asphalt of the street raised up like paper. “All the parts where it was cut, the rain took it away and the asphalt lifted up like paper from the floor”. The region was built on the Catarino Riverbed. Just 30 kilometers away from Rio de Janeiro downtown, the Barata community has endured around three hours of uninterrupted storm. The mountains surrounding it still shows the landslides scars. A week after the storm, the news team visited the site and talked to residents who experienced the tragedy. Solidarity and volunteer work gained prominence: churches and clubs began to receive donations from different locations in Rio, helping those most affected by the storm.


Dateline: Março 2020 – in Realengo neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro

00: 00– Doorman Ivaldo Da Silva Melo sitting in the lobby

00: 13– Sign indicates the donations for most affected families  by the rain.

“The townhouse Limites is receiving donations of food to residents of Barata’s neighborhood that was affected by the dawn floods from last Saturday-Sunday. Please deliver to the doorman. Thank you. The direction”

00: 23– INTERVIEW WITH IVALDO DA SILVA MELO: “It filled everything … water came into my house. I’ve been here for 19 years and I’ve never seen a rain like this, it’s the first time. There was water inside the lobby here and that never happened… I just reached here, and there was water inside the kitchen, water inside the fridge… it was stressful. It was a lot of water. In 19 years that I have been here, I have never seen such event ”

00: 51– Pollution on the Catarino River

OFF – IVALDO DA SILVA MELO: “When the water floods …

00: 58– INTERVIEW WITH IVALDO DA SILVA MELO “… and reaches the sidewalk. When the rain was over it emptied quickly, but this time it was too much rain, this time it rained a lot and it was a hard time ”

01: 14– Landslide marks on the hill

01: 26– House entrance  with a broken wall. View over the Catarino River by side the property

01: 41– Garbage men put furniture in truck

OFF WILSON MOURA: “A dam was made …”

01: 53– INTERVIEW WITH WILSON MOURA: “… I don’t know how this dam works, and this dam has exploded as this water came … “waterspout” as usually is known by, right? The hill, as you can see our friend has filmed …

02: 03– Image of cracks on hill

OFF-WILSON MOURA: “… that there were several cracks, it was not just one crack, there were several cracks …”

02: 09– INTERVIEW WILSON MOURA “… and back there a stone slid, a lot of things slid, you can see out there many cars hit, can’t you? And my message remains: the idea is to live life and let the rest go, we can handle it …”

02: 20– Images of the interior of neighboring house

INTERVIEW WITH WILSON MOURA: “God only gave us one life, so we need to take care of our life ourselves, and if he had givento me two lives I would have thrown this one away”

02: 35– Wilson Moura Sweeping the water from the flooded room

02: 49– Resident show landslides marks on hill

INTERVIEW WITH DENILSON PENUDO: “If you can see the hill from here … the failures remained on the hill … do you see there?

OFF- DENILSON PENUDO:  “….on this side can you see even better than other side … because there was a lot of water that made all came down. This whole mud with water went down and the only place to pass was right here on the street ”

03: 13– Resident explains the street location

INTERVIEW WITH DENILSON PENUDO: “It used to be a river. Here was a river. The amount of water that comes does not flow into the pipe, so it comes over the asphalt ”

03:23 –INTERVIEW WITH DENILSON PENUDO: “Everywhere it was cut the water took away. And the asphalt was lifted like paper from the ground … it was all cut ”

03: 31– Volunteers working on donations received by the church

OFF- LUANA FERNANDES: “We really could not imagine how much people would donate. Unity is strength.”

03:37 –INTERVIEW WITH LUANA FERNANDES: “Nowadays the Barata community became known from this disaster, but other than that I hadn’t seen it here. I saw it in other places, but I believe that everything is a God purpose. ”

03: 48– INTERVIEW WITH DENILSON PENUDO: “It has twenty-three years I live here, and this is the second flooding and the worst, this one that hit the cars was the worst …”

03: 53– Cars destroyed

OFF-DENILSON PENUDO “… because the others floods did not drag cars way, but this one was tough”

04: 04– Resident washes the car and removes mud from tire

04: 17– Resident cleans his car engine

04: 33 – Cars destroyed by the flood on muddy ground

04: 47– “It was an incredible situation. It was something that … no one here in this community was expecting that. It has harmed us here, we lost … in fact we lost everything, right? The truth is that we lost everything, and as you can see on the record making by your friend, we lost everything and now we really have no plans, we have nothing at all. Yes, we have, I will not tell you that I lost and won anything either. I did win my life. Because my daughter and my wife also went by the floody and, thanks God, they were held by somethings that were there on the gate,that would be rubble. A refrigerator, a five-liter bottle of water, a stove, a gas cylinder, all this things came up and held them, and she came crawling along the wall. So finally we decided to climb the roof to get out there to the other street, through the roofs, you know? And that is what I have to say. I just have to thank God for being alive, and nothing more. I’m thankful. Now, in my life, it’s just happiness. ”

05: 57– bedroom closet destroyed

06:08 – Guitar, photo of child and dirty toiletries on the balcony

06: 19– Sofas, refrigerator, washing machine and stove huddled in the living room

06: 36– pots, drawers and dirty clothes in the laundry room

06: 51– Extraterrestrial doll toy amid the wreckage

07: 05– Family photo on top