Brazil – Rising Rivers Affect 300,000 in Amazonas State

Rising rivers in Brazil’s Amazonas state have affected over 300,000 people according to state officials.

Governor Wilson Lima visits flood hit areas of Anamã and Caapiranga in Amazonas, May 2022. Photo: Bruno Zanardo/Secom

Rivers including the Negro, Amazon, Jurua, Purus, Madeira and Solimões have been rising for some time.

The Negro River at Manaus, the state capital, reached above severe flood stage (29 metres) in early May 2022. By 10 May the level was 29.10 metres and by 23 May the Negro River reached 29.37 metres. Authorities in Manaus have begun building temporary walkways above the flood waters and disinfecting flooded areas of the city to combat the bad smell and diseases that can be transmitted by the accumulation of standing water.

In a report of 19 May 2022, Amazonas Civil Defence reported flooding has affected a total of 306,861 people from 76,715 families across wide areas of the state. As of 23 May, as many as 35 municipalities had declared a state of emergency.

Over 77,000 of those affected are in the municipalities of Manaquiri, Manacapuru and Careiro da Várzea, situated along the Solimões river (the name given to upper stretches of the Amazon) and close to Manaus.

Flooding on the Solimões also affected communities in the municipalities of Anamã and Caapiranga where the governor of Amazonas, Wilson Lima, announced the distribution of Flood State Aid to 4,700 families.

The municipalities of Borba (21,613 people affected), Itacoatiara (18,498) and Maués (19,835) are among others badly affected.

The Solimões at Manacapuru stood at 19.82 metres as of 23 May, above severe flood stage of 19.6 metres. The Amazon at Itacoatiara stood at 14.76 metres on the same day, above severe flood stage of 14.2 metres.

Levels of the Negro River at Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, May 2022. Image: CPRM
Levels of the Solimões River at Manacapuru, Amazonas, Brazil, May 2022. Image: CPRM
Levels of the Amazon River at Itacoatiara, Amazonas, Brazil, May 2022. Image: CPRM