Heavy rains in Amazon rainforest cause rivers to rise to near record levels

Heavy rains in the Amazon rainforest have caused rivers to rise to near record levels, flooding small Brazilian towns and threatening the state capital Manaus.

Across the state of Amazonas, more than 4,00,000 people have been affected by flooding, said the state’s Civil Defence Service.

The Rio Negro river was rising by about three centimetres a  day and today streets in the centre of Manaus were already under water, according to city hall.

While rainfall varies from year to year, climate change has brought particularly heavy rainy years and also very dry years that hurt farming, said an ecologist at the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manaus. Amazon deforestation may also contribute to long-term changes, but does not impact rainfall year to year, he said. Access to the Manaus market on the edge of the Rio Negro is underwater and the city has built raised wooden walkways for pedestrians


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