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Yes it’s still raining. Amazing as it seems to me, having got used to virtually year round sun, there has been no let up in the rain. I keep sending text messages to my mother along the lines of : Heavy rain….. V heavy rain…… More heavy rain…… More V heavy rain……. Heaviest rain yet……

The weather forecast is for more heavy rain in the North and North East of Brazil, where there has been a minimum of twice the average rainfall, and in some places as much as six times the usual amount. In some areas the flooding is so bad, the only way to get about is by boat and many people have been left homeless.  Regions have declared a state of emergency, with rivers as much as 15 metres above the usual level, bridges and roads washed away, and only the tops of houses showing through the water.

Thankfully in Canto Verde, although we are surrounded by ever growing lagoons, most of us remain dry in our houses, but  not everyone. My brother in law Jola went fishing, coming back the next day to find his house had been flooded out. Neu had helped Jola’s wife to move as much furniture as they could up into the kitchen, which was built at a higher level than the rest of the house. What furniture they couldn’t move was raised up on bricks, but they can’t properly live in the house as they can’t use the toilet, the faucet being full of flood water. Three lagoons have formed around Jola’s house, water running from one, straight through his house, to another. Jola dug a channel to allow the water from the lagoons to drain away and it did recede a little, he said he hoped the worst was over. Since then we’ve had several more days of heavy rain. Neu was back at Jola’s yesterday to help dig a deeper a channel, Jola had been getting the water out of his house all morning.

Lagoa Salgado is a large permanent lagoon close to Canto Verde. The lagoon is now greatly swollen and many new lagoons have formed around it, some are incredibly deep, great fun to play in, but extremely dangerous for the large number of children who are drawn to them. The waters pouring out of these lagoons, have formed a wide river, the silt laden flood water carves its way to the sea, cutting a deep gouge across the beach. Yesterday, in the weak, watery sunshine the sea was a flat dull grey. The heavy waves turned aquamarine as they broke, glistening bronze where the sea water mixed with that from the river.

the brown flood waters meeting the green sea

the brown flood waters meeting the green sea

Strange as it may seem, in Rio Grande Do Sul, there has been no rain for 70 plus days. The rivers are dry, just a mosaic pattern of cracked, dry mud shows where a river once ran. The corn crop has failed, there is no water for the cattle, and people are surviving on the limited amount of water brought in by tanker. The meteorological office say it is the regions worst drought in 80 years.

As I’ve said, we are forecast to have more rain.

©Claire Pattison Valente 2009

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