For Leite, the time is not to think about accountability. “This is not the time to be looking at blame. It’s time to meet the people. Many were saved. What happened is unprecedented and I am sure that every possible effort has been made”, highlighted the governor, in a press conference in the early afternoon that was attended by ministers Waldez Góes (Integration and Regional Development) and Paulo Pimenta (Communications).
The governor clified the scenario he saw flying over the most affected regions, mainly in the Taquari Valley, as “desolate”. “It’s very impressive. It is the greatest natural tragedy recorded in Rio Grande do Sul. 31 confirmed deaths and, unfortunately, more deaths can be seen in the next few hours depending on the situation. Lots of destruction. This hurts us, but we are firm”, said Leite.
According to Leite, the public structures are “in tune” and who, in addition to having already spoken with President Lula, maintains contact by message with Vice President Geraldo Alckmin.
Both the governor and the ministers who participated in the press conference at the Univates auditorium, in Lajeado, avoided talking about values of the resources to be destined for the reconstruction of the affected cities, as the damage is still being computed. “What we see reminds us of a scenario of war, total destruction. It’s challenging, there’s a lot of work ahead. El Niño predicts a 50% increase in rainfall in Rio Grande do Sul. This has been announced and is being confirmed,” said Góes.
The Minister of Integration and Regional Development stressed the importance of public structures being ready to respond in situations like the one that occurred in RS. “We have to be very articulated between the spheres to respond and prepare for future situations. Climate events will not decrease, so we need to be increasingly organized to mitigate, remedy, and adapt to this new reality. The work is very serious and exhausting. I’ve lived through a lot of disaster and I know how desperate it is. Sometimes a body that is not found consumes the whole of society,” he pointed out.
Later in the afternoon, Leite will visit the municipality of Roca Sales, where at least eight people lost their lives due to the rains and floods.