By Marcelo Duailibe, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Seven cities hit by the heavy rain in the north and northwest of the state of Rio de Janeiro are still in a state of emergency, even with the decreasing water levels of the rivers Pomba, Mariaé and Paraíba do Sul. The city of Santo Antônio de Pádua was the first to account for losses: about R$20 million.
The forecast for more rain in the beginning of the week though, both in Rio and Minas Gerais, leaves residents fearing worse. The town of Três Vendas in Campos is perhaps the hardest hit, a district that was largely evacuated, but where some residents have refused to leave their homes.
Electrical power was cut to avoid short circuits and the whole area is patrolled by the city guard to prevent looting.
The prediction is that the situation in Três Vendas may return to normal in four months. The level of the Paraíba do Sul River, which on last Wednesday reached 37.7 feet, went down to 29.9 feet yesterday.
In Campos, the Secretary for Agriculture, Christino Áureo said it’s too early to calculate the losses, but that the milk production will fall at least ten percent. An estimated 300 excavation machines will be used to restore roads around the area.
According to the Secretary for Health in Campos, Paulo Hirano, the concern now is with the diseases that arise after the floods. “Residents in the affected areas were vaccinated against hepatitis A and tetanus. The seniors residents received flu shots. We mobilized our structure, because there are diseases such as leptospirosis, transmitted by rat urine.” stated the Secretary.
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