Flood Continues to Stumble People in Brazil's Amazon Rainforest
Residents of Brazil's Amazon rainforest are being flooded for the second year in a row, with hundreds of thousands of people already affected by floodwaters leaving their houses and finding shelter at makeshift camps. An estimated 3,67,000 people have been affected by rising waters in Brazil's Amazonas state alone.
Heavy rains in the Amazon over the last two years are linked to the La Nina phenomenon, which occurs when Pacific Ocean currents influence global temperature patterns and are exacerbated by climate change, according to scientists.
Manaus, the Amazon's largest city, began monitoring flood levels in 1902 and has experienced seven of the region's worst floods, including this year's.
Luna Gripp, a geosciences researcher who monitors the western Amazon’s river levels for the Brazilian Geological Survey, said:
"Unfortunately, severe floods have been happening over and over in the past decade. It is confirmation that extreme climate events are increasing greatly."
Peak flooding in Manaus usually happens in mid-June, and it takes weeks — if not months — for it to subside. The Negro River was above the 29-meter flood level for 90 days last year.
The Jurua, Purus, Madeira, Solimoes, and Amazon rivers have all been inundated, causing 35 municipalities in Amazonas to declare states of emergency.
Charlis Barros, the head of the state’s civil defence authority, said:
"Flooding causes significant damage to agriculture, traditionally done in the Amazon close to riverbanks where the soil is more fertile. That makes food distribution one of the most urgent needs at the moment."
At the Manaus measurement station, the Negro River reached a depth of 29.37 metres (96 feet) on Monday, compared to a record of 30.02 metres last year.
Source: The Indian Express