Heavy rainfall during the month of February, continuing into March, created serious problems for some areas in the in the south of Brazil as well as in some areas in the North. Whilst the population in all these areas has suffered many hardships, flooding, landslides, breakdown in essential services etc., perhaps the most serious area affected is the hillside between the city of Curitiba and the Port of Paranagua in the state of Parana. Two small townships, Morretes and Antonina have practically been carried way by landslides and low lying areas around Paranagua have been flooded. The worst disaster is that the main highway linking Curitiba and Paranagua has been seriously damaged by flood waters which carried away most of two main bridges disrupting the flow of traffic between the high plateau and the low lying port and city of Paranagua. The whole system of water catchment has broken down and the city of Paranagua is without water and there is no prospect of this being restored in the very near future.
The whole traffic system came to a halt. Supplies of fuel and food have been unable to get through and there are hundreds of trucks loaded with soya beans for export stranded on the road. Today, one week later, they have managed to open up to single line traffic and it is hoped to reach about 40-50% of the capacity. The rail system down the hillside has been closely inspected and has been liberated to traffic.
No doubt serious delays to the movement of cargo through the port will occur. We understand that some ships, especially reefer vessels, have already been diverted to Itajai.