Rains wreck Rio

“For the third time this year, torrential rains cause problems for the city of Rio. In February, six people died as a result of heavy storms in the capital of Rio. At carnival, the parades of the samba schools were on the verge of cancellation, because with the thunderstorm on Friday, March 1, Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue, like many other parts of the city, was completely flooded.

Yesterday, it rained for 4 hours, between 100 mm and 200 mm in several neighborhoods of the city, which is more than expected for the whole month of April. Meteorology explains that this amount of water is due to the meteorological ditch and the low atmospheric pressure, which are clockwise wind movements, forcing the heat and humidity to concentrate in a single area, forming, in this space, many clouds of rain.

What further intensifies this situation is that the water of the sea is warmer, causing its greater evaporation. In Rio de Janeiro, the south and southwest winds on the coast carry even more moisture and the hills also contribute to a greater tendency to rain.

In Rocinha, Pavão-Pavãozinho, and in Dona Marta, sirens have already been activated to alert the residents. At the time of publication of this text, four deaths were confirmed and occurred in Morro da Babilônia, Leme and Gávea and Santa Cruz. Civil Defense points to red alert in the city, which means that it is recommended that people stay home and turn off the circuit breakers.

Classes were suspended in public institutions of higher education and in most elementary schools. In the morning, there were no trains coming from Central. Stations like Olaria and Oswaldo Cruz were closed earlier in the day and were reopened around 11am. MetRôRio reported that despite the operation on Tuesday, the Surface Subway operates at irregular intervals. Several buses had their routes changed, disrupting the day of the residents of Rio.

Governor Wilson Witzel today declared an optional point for state servants. The mayor Marcelo Crivella spoke of the situation of the city yesterday:

“It is very difficult, when the rain is strong, as it was this night, that we manage to avoid all the chaos you reported, but the city hall is attentive, with all its teams on the street doing repairs. And I hope that, at dawn, we can get the city back to normal.”

Complaints from the population have been many, especially by the decrease in flood prevention budget made by city hall in the last five years. 77% of the funds for flood control were reduced. The amount went from 288 million reais to R $ 66 million. Part of the cycle path Tim Maia collapsed, for the fourth time, during another torrential rain. Nobody got hurt.”

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Text by Ana Beatriz Cacela, originally published here,
for the News Agency of the Favelas
(ANF – Agência de Notícias das Favelas)
[Translated by Mirna Wabi-Sabi]

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Who’s most vulnerable to the repercussions of Climate Change?
Do we really lack the resources to remedy this tragedy, or are we grossly miss-managing what’s at our disposal?

I’m sorry, but this disaster is far from Natural. And it isn’t surprising that those most responsible for it fail to acknowledge the source of the problem. If Failure isn’t properly addressed, it will persist. There are few things more frustrating than the solution being out of reach for the few people who see the problem.

Corruption and mismanagement are tentacles of a murderous Capitalist system, and unless enough people become aware of this, we’ll only sink deeper.

Julkaissut Karen Melo Tiistaina 9. huhtikuuta 2019