Weeks of severe flooding have affected more than 450 000 people across 52 municipalities in northern Brazil, the Civil Defense reported on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. More than 7 700 people have been displaced as rivers continue to rise.

Heavy rain has been affecting northwestern Brazil, particularly the Amazonas state, since early May. As a result, rivers Amazon, Solimoes, and Negro overflowed, flooding nearby areas and damaging many properties.

As of Tuesday, the Amazonas State Civil Defense reported that more than 7 700 people have been displaced and over 455 500 affected across 52 municipalities throughout the state.

The worst-hit municipalities are Parintins with 47 035 affected people, Manacapuru with 40 052, Carreiro da Varzea with 24 087, and Manaus with 23 960. 

According to figures from the Geological Survey of Brazil (CPRM), levels of the Solimoes, Negro, and Amazon rivers have surpassed the highest alert level, referred to as Severe Flood Level.

Image credit: Municipality of Boca do Acre

In April, the CPRM warned that this year’s flooding in Manaus is likely to be among the highest in previous years and may exceed the highest on record seen in 2012 when the reiver hit 29.97 m (98 feet). As of May 5, the Negro River stood at 29.19 m (95.76 feet).

Local media reported five injured people after flooding from May 3 swept through a camp for refugees in Venezuela. As of May 6, Manaus has declared a state of emergency.

The State Government of Amazonas is conducting an aid program called Operation Flood 2021, which involves repairing damage, distributing food items, offering credit, and suspending water charges.