« A severe drought of historic proportions has hit the Brazilian Amazon, causing water levels in rivers and lakes across the region to reach record lows in September. The impact of this drought was captured by drone footage, revealing the dire situation in the port area of Manaus along the Rio Negro on Wednesday.
The drop in river levels has severely restricted the movement of people and goods by boat, making it even more challenging for remote communities to access essential services such as healthcare, education, and even basic necessities like water and food.
Authorities in Brazil estimate that approximately 500,000 Brazilians could be affected by the drought by the end of the year.
« Man, this drought is historical. It is a drought, as I just said, I have never seen anything like this. We are all suffering from this drought. It’s nature, and we can’t do anything about it, » said Jose Nilson, a fisherman.
Meteorologists attribute the severity of this year’s drought to the presence of ‘El Nino,’ a cyclical weather phenomenon characterised by the warming of Pacific Ocean waters, which affects climate patterns globally. As a result of this compounded effect, the water levels in rivers and lakes across the Amazon basin have reached unprecedented lows, prompting the entire region to declare a state of emergency.
In response to the prolonged drought, the northern state of Amazonas declared a state of emergency two weeks ago and initiated a US$20 million (19€ million) response plan to provide aid and support to the affected communities. »