Mothers of black belts among landslide victims in Rio

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Images of landslides in Nova Friburgo /Photo: UOL publicity

The heavy flooding in the mountain region of Rio de Janeiro state spread destruction and has killed hundreds since Tuesday. The cities of Teresópolis and Nova Friburgo were those most heavily affected by the tragedy in the region.

Among the victims, Soraya Popovitch, the mother of one of the greatest Jiu-Jitsu standouts in 2010, Pablo Popovitch.

Other members of the fighter’s family survived the landslide, according to Amaury Bitetti.

“I am going to miss my mother. You are the one responsible for my start in Jiu-Jitsu, the one who gave me the support to become who I am today. I will always love you and miss you,” says Pablo over Facebook.

Photo: Personal archive

And as soon as the article in Portuguese hit the air, GRACIEMAG.com was, regrettably, informed by Chico Mendes that the mother of CheckMat black belt Felipe Vidal also fell victim to a landslide, in Teresópolis.

The entire GRACIEMAG.com team wishes strength to Pablo, Felipe, their families, and everyone who suffered from the tragedy in Rio.

Many have been left without shelter around the region and there are several ways to help by giving donations.

Here is how:

The Teresópolis city government opened a bank account exclusively to receive donations called “SOS Teresópolis – Donativos.” Bank of Brazil agency 0741, account 110000-9.

In Teresópolis, contributions can be given at the Pedrão Gymnasium, on Rua Tenente Luiz Meirelles 211, in downtown Teresópolis.

Starting Thursday, the Federal highway police set up four posts for donations of food and personal hygiene products. They are: BR-116; the Rio-Magé toll booth, and BR-101, at Casimiro de Abreu.

The Pão de Açucar supermarket chain will be collecting donations at all one hundred supermarkets in the state of Rio. Donations can be made at the establishments Pão de Açucar, ABC Compre Bem, Sendas, Extra, and Assaí.

Donations will be delivered by January 26.

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