The government of the state of Roraima in northern Brazil has declared an emergency situation due to ongoing heavy rainfall and rising rivers.
Long-term heavy rainfall in Roraima, particularly in northern areas, along with high levels of rivers in the Amazon basin upstream, have caused rivers to rise above flood stage in the state.
As of 11 June, 2021, the Branco river (Rio Branco) at Boa Vista stood at 8.53 metres, with flood stage at 8.5 metres. Likewise the Branco is also above flood stage at Caracaraí, standing at 9.46 metres as of 11 June. Flood stage here is 9 metres.
Evacuations and Flood Damage
The emergency declaration covers the municipalities of Bonfim, Cantá, Caracaraí, Caroebe, Normandia, Rorainópolis, São João da Baliza, São Luiz and Uiramutã. Other remaining municipalities, including the capital Boa Vista, will be added to the emergency declaration should the situation change.
Governor Antonio Denarium said overflowing rivers and heavy rain has caused “damage to infrastructure such as bridges, roads and side roads, which creates traffic difficulties on these roads, production flow and access to hospitals and villages”.
Communities in Normandia, Cantá, Bonfim and Rorainópolis have been left isolated by flooding. Civil Defence has delivered food and medical supplies and helped rescue people from flooded areas. Dozens of families have been evacuated in Rorainópolis and Cantá, as well as São João da Baliza and parts of the capital Boa Vista.
In the municipality of Amajari, around 20 families have ben severely affected by flooding from the overflowing Uraricoera River since early June. Flooding from the Acará River has severely impacted the livelihoods of over 200 families in the municipality. Authorities have distributed relief supplies in affected areas.
Twenty-five municipalities in the neighbouring state of Amazonas have also declared a state of emergency due to widespread flooding. As of early June, more than 450,000 people had been affected. The Negro River (Rio Negro) at Manaus, capital of the state, reached a record high of 29.98 metres on 01 June 2021.