By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Monday, October 31st local news reported that the beachfront promenade at Avenida Delfim Moreira, in Rio’s upscale neighborhood of Leblon, will need extensive repairs after suffering severe damage due to massive waves and strong winds that hit the area late Friday, October 28th and early Saturday, October 29th.
Waves up to four meters caused water to overtake the beach and spill over onto the normally tranquil Avenida Delfim Moreira causing damage to several kiosks and leaving large accumulations of sand and debris along the street and sidewalk.
Julio Mouro, from Orla Rio, a concessions group who manages the kiosks in the area told O Globo news outlet, that the Riba kiosk, near Posto 11, was partially uprooted from its position due to the water and movement of the sand.
“There’s a lot of water in the basement of the [Riba] kiosk. Thus, the sand underneath moved,” said Mouro. “We have isolated the area and there is no risk of the floor giving away elsewhere,” he added, “we will fix it as soon as possible and give full support to the Riba kiosk to be running again.”
An employee of the Riba kiosk, who wished to remain anonymous, shared, “We still have no idea of the damage, as the water flooded all our basement. Food and equipment were floating….We likely will have to reform everything and buy all the equipment again.”
By Saturday afternoon, a crew of over two hundred street sweepers and some twenty dump trucks, bulldozers, and mechanical sweepers and shovels were working furiously to clear the debris from the sidewalks and return the sand to the beach.
Unfortunately, according to the O Globo report, the heavy tractors used in the subsequent cleanup, handled by government agency Comlurb, may have exacerbated the damage. By Sunday, October 30th, six craters appeared in the sidewalk in and around Posto 11, which according to the report, may have occurred due to the sidewalk, already weakened from water damage, being unable to support the large vehicles.