The rain that has been punishing Rio Grande do Sul in September continues to cause damage, leaving many people homeless and bringing chaos to the capital of Rio Grande do Sul due to flooding. On the morning of this Wednesday (27), Cais Mauá, in the center of Porto Alegre, was taken over by the waters of the Guaíba, which has only happened three times in the last 80 years (1941, 1967 and 2015).
The Cais Mauá ruler at noon marked 3.17 meters, 17 centimeters above the 3 meter mark required for overflow in the area. The floodgates of the Guaíba flood system, which protect the central region of the city, were closed preventively on Monday and Tuesday by the city hall.
:: With heavy rain, wind, hail and cyclone formation, RS is on alert with rising rivers ::
On the Islands, the situation is serious. Since the start of the rains, the region has been experiencing flooding and with the recent rise, streets are underwater. The ruler of Ilha da Pintada marked 2.92 meters, with the flood level being 2.2 meters. Many residents were rescued and have already left their homes.
In the South zone, where there is no flood containment system, Guaíba advanced over the city at several points and residents are being evacuated by Civil Defense.
:: Porto Alegre closes flood containment gates on the Guaíba River; The forecast is for more rain in the region ::
Rainiest month in the city’s climate history
According to MetSul Metereologia, Porto Alegre managed to overcome the precipitation extremes of the great flood of 1941 and since this Tuesday (26) has a new month leading the ranking of the rainiest months in the city’s climate history.
:: ‘Are disasters natural?’, experts debate the issue in the premiere of the Brasil de Fato program ::
“MetSul highlights that the level does not even need to reach 3.00 meters for the water to flood the pier. In the great flood of October 2015, the Guaíba reached 2.97 meters in a measurement made by MetSul on the physical ruler of the pier and even so, the water reached the floor of the pier due to the waves generated by the wind and the passage of vessels, capable of to raise the level by a few centimeters in seconds. At elevations above 2.90 meters, the swell can carry water onto the pier floor”, he states.
The strong rise of Guaíba in the last few hours is due to the rain that fell in parts of the river basins close to Porto Alegre, but, especially, to the wind from the southern quadrant that begins to blow over the north of Lagoa dos Patos. With a stronger south wind forecast for this Wednesday, including strong gusts, due to an extratropical cyclone on the coast, the tendency is for the damming to increase and the level to rise even further.
This was the scenario that led Porto Alegre city hall to activate the Guaíba containment system, which was completely closed on Tuesday night and will remain activated this Wednesday (27), due to the rise in water levels.
Sections 1 and 3 of Orla do Guaíba are partially closed. It is recommended that the population avoid traveling through the areas until the water recedes. Sports equipment appointments are suspended.
Furthermore, the Municipal Civil Defense extended, on Tuesday night, the weather alert that has been in force since the 18th in Porto Alegre. This time, in addition to possible floods, the agency lists the possibility of geological risks. The notice is valid until Friday (29).
The preventive alert for falls and landslides is especially valid for the 142 risk areas in Porto Alegre. Civil Defense and Municipal Housing Department (Demhab) agents have been traveling through these regions since Monday, advising the population to seek shelter.
Reception and death
According to the City Hall, 137 people are sheltered in temporary shelters in the city, 50 at Escola Alvarenga Peixoto (Ilha dos Marinheiros), 48 at Centro Social Padre Pedro Leonardi (Restinga) and 39 at Igreja Nsa. Senhora da Boa Viagem (Ilha da Pintada).
Just this morning, Mayor Sebastião Melo (MDB) reported that a body was found in section 1 of Orla do Guaíba. According to Melo, there are still no details of the origin.
The Fica Sabendo bus will be parked near the Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem Church, on Ilha da Pintada, for health care this Wednesday. Professionals remain mobilized to assist the population affected by the Guaíba flood on the Islands.
The situation room at the Integrated Service Coordination Center (Ceic-POA) monitors the evolution of climate-related demands in Porto Alegre. Real-time updates can be obtained from Twitter do Ceic-POA.
If you have any questions or emergencies, call Civil Defense (199) or the Fire Department (193). City hall services can be requested through the 156 system (telephone, website and app).
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Editing: Marcelo Ferreira