More than 20,000 people have been affected by flooding caused by the swollen Purus River in Boca do Acre in Amazonas State, Brazil. Local authorities have declared a state of emergency.
Defesa Civil Amazonas (the state’s civil defense) have distributed more than 36 tons of humanitarian aid to flood victims, which includes food, medicine, bedding, mosquito nets, drinking water, and water filters.
“We … are working on the needs of the population and municipal deficiencies caused by this natural disaster,” said the Secretary of Defesa Civil Amazonas, Colonel Roberto Rocha.
At least 70 families have been forced from their homes and are being housed in emergency tents. Authorities say that 8 out of the 9 local districts have been affected across the city. Schools in the area have been closed as a result of the floods. Defesa Civil Amazonas reported that the city’s water treatment plant has been damaged, increasing worries about supplies of drinking water. Maize and banana crops have also been flooded.
Boca do Acre is a small municipality of around 30,000 people, located at the point where the Purus and Acre rivers meet.
High levels of the Acre River earlier this month caused severe flooding in several locations in Acre state, in particular the city of Rio Branco where the river reached record levels. Parts of Amazonas state were affected soon after.
Recent heavy rainfall in the region could mean increased levels of the Purus and Juruá rivers. This may well add to the flood woes in numerous parts of Amazonas, and could affect municipalities including Itamarati, Guajará, Ipixuna, Eirunepé, Envira (Juruá river) and além de Canutama, Tapauá, Carauari, Pauiní, Humaitá (Purus river), which have already been placed under “Situação de Emergência” by Defesa Civil Amazonas.