In Manaus, Brazil, on May 19th, the level of the Rio Negro exceeded the minimum emergency quota of 28.94 meters (94.95 feet) with a level of 28.97 meters (95.05 feet). The volume of the water, aided by recent heavy rains, caused much flooding in the streets of Central Manaus.
In accordance with the measuring system of the Port of Manaus, the level was recorded on the morning of the 19th and was five centimeters (0.2 feet) greater than the previous week’s reading.
The number exceeded the minimum quota determining an emergency, which was published by the Geological Service of Brazil (CPRM). The agency provides that a level of 29.62 meters (97.2 feet) constitutes a flood.
Businesswoman Márcia Luis Ferreira stated that this week she will install damage control measures on the storefront that she manages on Rua dos Barés, one of the roads affected by the rising river. “I’ve bought the materials, which I get every year, to create barricades against the water so that it doesn’t invade my establishment. I hope that it's not a big flood this year.”
The merchant Valdenilson Reis explained that with the economic crisis and the consequences of the flood, he is afraid that he may have to close his store. “I have a small disposable business. My earnings have already fallen about 20% with the flood, and we predict further falls.” he said.
The vendor, Daniel Tiradentes Paiva called attention to the authorities who, according to him, said that the central roads would not be flooded. “The city came here before the Rio Negro rose. They had explained that with our help and with the new improved manholes, the water would not flood the streets. None of this happened. Every year there’s a flood and no one ever plans,” he criticized.
A car from the Municipal Civil Defense was present on Rua dos Barés to prevent cars from going onto the site, but there was no one in the car to talk to the reporting team.
The press office of the Municipal Civil Defense said that the third phase of Operation SOS Flood 2015, which aims to mitigate the effects of the Rio Negro flooding on the families residing in the city’s waterfront, is underway. At this stage, 2,900 families will be registered by the Municipal Secretariat for Women, Social Welfare and Human Rights (Semmasdh).
The organization confirmed that the registration, which is the coordinated action by the Municipal Integrated Management Cabinet (GGIM) and Manaus Civil Defense, will be accompanied by environmental agents who will direct families about the correct disposal of trash. With the river flooding, much waste accumulates near the houses.
To alleviate the inconvenience and ensure families’ mobility, the city has built, through the Civil Defense and Municipal Infrastructure Secretariat (Seminf), twenty access bridges in five districts of Manaus. Seventeen more districts will soon receive structures.
The press office of the Municipal Health Secretariat (Semsa) reported that it will also provide support, meeting with people and providing advice about diseases, and the caution required to avoid contact with water that’s been in the streets. The Secretary for Municipal Cleaning (Semulsp) is also involved; removing garbage from around the waterfront.
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Original article, originally published in Portuguese, here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.