Floods hit Rio hard

Sport Business News

Rio sustained its heaviest rainfall in history in a short period on Tuesday 6 April 2010, killing over 200 people to date. The government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil however has since seeked to reassure the international community that the deadly mudslides and flooding in Rio do not bode badly for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

With the images of devastation circling the globe, the Brazilian government has sought to preempt any ideas that rains risk turning the preparations or the sporting events themselves into debacles. In a conference call with international reporters, Brazilian planning minister Paulo Bernardo said funds were being marshalled to repair damages from the flooding in Rio and elsewhere. In the call, Bernardo said Brazilian money worth $3. 9bn had already been set aside for recovery of flood–stricken areas as part of the government's pro–economic growth package. He also said that investments will be made in sanitation, housing and infrastructure so that Rio and other cities will be better prepared for heavy rains in the future. The Brazilian government also announced it was dispatching some $100m in emergency funds as well as a new fleet of ambulances and medical systems to help Rio de Janeiro cope with the impact of the flooding. The Copa Libertadores match between Flamengo and Universidad de Chile was postponed by one day because of heavy rains in Rio that caused flood damage at Maracana Stadium. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is set to meet with officials of the organising committee of Rio 2016 to discuss the impact on preparations of the devastating rain. In a statement, the IOC expressed its solidarity with the victims of mudslides and floods. The committee, however, insisted that it remains confident on Rio's capacity to host a high–quality Olympic Games. IOC spokesman Andrew Mitchell said the Olympic body was to discuss the impact of the disaster once the situation within the city is back to normal.

Additional information