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Montevideo, September 27th 2023 - 09:47 UTC



Brazil's rains: Fishermen bring jerry cans of water to neutralize black market trade

Wednesday, February 22nd 2023 - 10:38 UTC
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Faucet water comes out brown, full of dirt from the landslides. Faucet water comes out brown, full of dirt from the landslides.

Residents of Boiçucanga, a neighborhood heavily affected by the weekend's storm in São Sebastião, on São Paulo's northern coast, have been without drinking water for four days, due to which the local fishermen's association made arrangements to help those in need, Agencia Brasil reported.

“We have been without water for four days. We have to get water in Barra do Una to transport to Boiçucanga and distribute. Today, a little bit of water came back, but it was muddy,” sailor Rivelino Rodrigues said after arriving in the neighborhood with one of the shipments.

“Traders are renting boats from Barra de Una to Boiçucanga and selling the water for an absurd amount,” he also explained. A group of tourists confirmed some “entrepreneurs” charged R$ 98 (US$ 19) for a gallon of drinking water.

The Basic Sanitation Company of the State of São Paulo (Sabesp) said it was working to re-establish the water supply in the entire northern coast. In São Sebastião and Ilhabela, 31 tanker trucks were providing emergency supplies in the places most affected by the rains.

The fishermen also bring supplies to the communities that suffered the most from the disaster which killed 43 people and left hundreds homeless.

“We took between yesterday and today around 2.5 thousand tons of food, which we sent to several schools, and mattresses and water to where the disaster happened,” Fishermen's Association of Boiçucanga President Ademir de Matos said.

Although Boiçucanga was not the most affected place, De Matos admitted he was scared by the strength of the flooding of the river after which the community was named. “I've lived here for 52 years and I've never seen a natural disaster like this in my life,” he explained.

The water reached a meter high inside the association's headquarters and the fishermen's boats had to be rescued with the help of a tractor. “Thanks to God, we managed to recover all the fishermen's boats,” he went on.

It rained again heavily in São Sebastião on Tuesday afternoon. Civil Defense issued an alert with a forecast of 200 millimeters of rain from Tuesday until next Friday (24). Mayor Felipe Augusto also issued the alert through social media since new flooding and landslides are not to be ruled out.

With the reopening of most of the points that were blocked on the Rio-Santos Highway, Boiçucanga and other neighborhoods are no longer isolated. The road is still blocked only at kilometer 174. Despite the release of traffic, the road shows the marks of the destruction caused by floods and landslides, Agencia Brasil noted.

At some points, the road was partially eroded and there is only asphalt in one direction. Trunks and boulders have not yet been removed and occupy the road in other places. At kilometer 143, a waterfall formed on the rock wall flooded the road and flowed through a crater on the other side of the road.

Even with the road being cleared late on Tuesday afternoon there were sporadic interruptions in the traffic and no clear information about the possible continuance of the journey.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

Categories: Environment, Brazil.

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