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News > Latin America

Brazil: Drought Affects 62 Municipalities in the Amazonas State

  • Brazilian researcher retrieves dead dolphins from the Tefe lake effluent, 2023.

    Brazilian researcher retrieves dead dolphins from the Tefe lake effluent, 2023. | Photo: X/ @bohemioe

Published 30 October 2023

The Black River's water level decreased from 30 meters in June 2021 to 13 meters in October 2023.

On Sunday, Brazilian authorities reported that 60 out of 62 municipalities in the state of Amazonas have been declared in a state of emergency due to a severe drought affecting 608,000 people and 152,000 families.


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One indicator of the seriousness of the situation can be seen in the Rio Negro's water level, which has decreased from a peak of 30 meters in June 2021 to a minimum of 13 meters in October 2023.

"The Amazon rainforest is reeling from an intense drought. Numerous rivers vital for travel have dried up. As a result, there is no water, food, or medicine in villages of Indigenous communities living in the area," the Indian Express reported.

The city of Manaus is experiencing the most severe drought in the past 121 years. In the last 10 months, environmental authorities have recorded 18,170 hotspots in the state of Amazonas, 2,500 of which were located in the metropolitan region of Manaus.

This scenario is a result of the increasingly pronounced influence of the El Niño phenomenon, characterized by the weakening of trade winds and abnormal warming of the surface waters in the eastern part of the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean.

These environmental changes even impact the behavior of animals, many of which experience sudden death due to the heat.

Variations in the interaction between the ocean and the lower atmosphere occur at intervals ranging from three to seven years. The new moisture transport patterns also affect the temperature and distribution of air masses in the Pacific Ocean.

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