Alex Davis

Alex Davis (R) (Photo used with permission)

The cities of Nova Friburgo and Teresopolis have been devastated over the last week by the torrential rains causing mudslides that have claimed the lives of over 600 Brazilians.

While rescue efforts are being made on the ground, the disaster has also struck home to the MMA community where Alex Davis and his family reside near the town of Nova Friburgo.

Davis, who manages several prominent MMA fighters including Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Jorge Santiago, and Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, sent a letter to MMAWeekly.com on Monday with his account of the disaster in Brazil and his efforts to rescue his family as well as all those in need during the mudslides in his home country.

“Last Tuesday evening, the storm started rolling in. I usually enjoy watching storms, but as the hours passed, I could tell that this was different, that this was a “cabeca dagua” or cloudburst, which I have seen one time before and know the destructive power that can be unleashed by it.

As time passed, from my house here on the farm, I could see the lightning and hear the thunder, although hardly a drop of rain fell here, I knew that right across the mountain, somewhere was catching it. I tried to sleep, but sleep was impossible as I could sense the storm raging.

At approximately 5am in the morning, my son Johann, who lives in the center of Nova Friburgo, called me to tell me that a landslide had fallen on his street, and that he had joined a dear friend of ours, Sgt. Marcos Verly, trying to dig out people that had been buried alive. Barely 40 minutes later he called me crying, telling me that a second landslide had fallen, that he had managed to get out in time, but that Sgt. Very and 3 other firemen had been buried, along with his cousins and other people who were helping also.

A few minutes later my other daughter, Michelle called in a panic, saying that she could see multiple landslides from her house, and that she was afraid that her house might come down also. At this point, phone communication ceased, leaving me blind and overcome with worry.

I knew that using a car would be impossible, so I borrowed a motorcycle and went into town to look for my family. The scene of destruction that I encountered is beyond description. It was mudslide after mudslide, the river that runs through Nova Friburgo had risen more then 7 or 8 meters above its normal level, leaving a complete mess of mud and debris.

Luckily, I found all my kids safe, although they live right in the center of things. My son Johann was in a state of shock, having seen friends buried alive right in front of his eyes.
At this point, I need to tell a dramatic story about the site which my son was at trying to help.

Among the people buried were a family of 4, Husband, wife, 11-month old son and grandmother. Marcos Verly and Johann knew they were alive, and were trying to get to them along with the other firemen, when the second landslide fell, and then still a 3rd one even bigger, engulfed everything. Big machinery was brought in, to try and dig out the people that had been originally buried, and also the rescuers. As they dug, they started hearing some one calling, turns out was the father, who had managed to dig under the debris to his 11 month old son, he held him against his chest, and both were miraculously alive, although the mother and grandmother were dead right beside him.

As the hours passed, that father gathered saliva in his mouth and fed it to the baby, later, rescuers managed to get a tube into to the debris and gave water to the father, who would fill his mouth and give it the baby. His description of how he did this, and how the baby would grab his face and fit its mouth on his in desperation for water makes me weep!

Finally, 16 hours after they had been buried, they were dug out alive. I happened to be there when the baby was freed from the mud as I was bringing water to the rescuers as they worked tirelessly with the slim hope of finding people alive.

The next day, I gathered all the equipment I had, and went and volunteered myself to the fire department, to help in anyway possible in the attempt to find more people. The scene was completely chaotic, the Fire Department was overwhelmed with a disaster of gigantic proportions, and to make things worse, no cell phone or land line communication were available whatsoever.

There I began a journey of 6 days of non-stop missions to help the people of Nova Friburgo. The stories of entire families buried alive are so frequent that this has become the norm! Thousands of people trying to dig out their loved ones, and in doing so, failing to realize that they were putting themselves into still more danger, as the 300mm of rain had left all the terrain extremely unstable.

Whole communities were isolated, as bridges were wiped out, and hundreds of landslides blocked all the roads. After the initial loss of life to the mudslides and flooding, this was to be the largest crises to be faced, and is still at this very moment, a crises of huge proportions. There are pockets of communities all over the region, most very poor even in normal times, and now without water, electricity food and even the most basic necessities.

The effort is now to bring aid to these people, I spent days using my dirt bike to reach these small communities, access their needs, bring the information back to the Professional Rescuers effort to try and get help to them. Since it is impossible to get food and water in by road, more then 30 helicopters are working day and night to get the food to them, but even so, still many people are in precarious situations.

Besides this, many people of all walks of life have been economically wiped out, whole businesses disappearing under the mud. This will bring even more stress as time passes, because of the loss of jobs and economic activity.

We will now face the second phase of the disaster, as the hundreds if not thousands of people buried will start putrefying, although they are too deep to be reached, the gases and fluids will seep through, bring illness and stench.

The population has been heroic in dealing with what is the largest natural disaster in Brazilian history, normal people in the streets guiding traffic, people forming human chains to unload donations, volunteers backpacking water and milk to the isolated communities, everyone coming together in a huge effort to help there brothers.

There has come one positive out of this catastrophy, Brazil has been blessed by not having large disasters like this one throughout history, watching other catastrophies through the news. Now that one has hit our doorstep, the population has risen to the challenge, in a completely unselfish, heroic way, organizing themselves out of nothing to deal with the daunting challenges that now face this region.

Please, keep up the prayers, the help and the thoughts, although this will all be out of the media, many good people will still be suffering for a long time.

As you know, myself and my friends have started a charity that will go directly to these people. No middle organizations will be involved. Please help if you can.”

Donate online via PayPal

Donate in person at the following academies:

The Armory
603 Commerece Way West  Jupiter, FL 33458
3133 Fortune Way – Suite #21, Wellington, FL 33414

American Top Team
4631 Johnson Rd  Coconut Creek, FL 33073

Mail payments directly to:
Combat Athletes For Nova Friburgo
160 Congress Park Drive
Suite 211
Delray Beach, FL 33445

All checks should be made payable to:
Combat Athletes for Nova Friburgo

For more information, visit the Combat Athletes For Nova Frisburgo website.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Conor McGregor's Quest to Hold Two UFC Titles (UFC 205 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 8 views

The UFC’s long road to New York culminates with UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Go behind the scenes with Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor as they prepare. read news >>

Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz Fighting for History (UFC 205 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 14 views

The UFC’s road to New York culminates with UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Go behind the scenes with champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. read news >>

A Look Inside Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson's Preparations (UFC 205 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 11 views

The UFC’s long road to New York culminates with UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Go behind the scenes with Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson as they prepare. read news >>

Jon Jones Set to Meet Dan Henderson Grappling Headliner | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 35 views

Jon Jones may be under a one-year suspension that won’t end until July of 2017, but he does have his next competition tentatively scheduled. read news >>

CM Punk is Being a LeBron James Hater | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 26 views

Even an epic ass-whipping can't humble CM Punk. Not when it comes to his Chicago sports teams. read news >>

Douglas Lima Just Wants to Get His Belt Back... and Then Fight Rory MacDonald | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 10 views

Douglas Lima doesn't care about revenge. He just wants to get his Bellator belt back, and then he wants to fight Rory MacDonald. read news >>

Stephen Thompson Plans to 'Muhammad Ali' Tyron Woodley at UFC 205 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson is prepared for his first UFC title fight and plans to 'Muhammad Ali' champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 205 on Saturday. read news >>

Go Inside the Octagon with Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

Strawweights Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz and middleweights Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero get the Inside The Octagon treatment ahead of UFC 205. read news >>

UFC Fighter George Sullivan Accepts One-Year USADA Suspension | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

After being pulled from UFC on FOX 20 in July, welterweight fighter George Sullivan has accepted a one-year suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. read news >>

Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson Go Inside the Octagon (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

In this episode of Inside The Octagon, Dan Hardy and John Gooden look ahead to the UFC 205 championship match-up between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson. read news >>