Due to the threat of new landslides, more than 100 families have left their homes in Manaus

Although Manaus is in the rainy season, which runs from December to April, the city’s heaviest rainfall period, water levels were above normal on Sunday.

Rosien Carvalho
Manaus, A.M

In the Jorge Teixeira neighborhood on the eastern side of Manaus, the threat of new landslides has forced the municipality to evacuate at least a hundred families from their homes and take shelter in a school. Until this Monday (13), more than 130 properties were prohibited.

The move comes after a landslide destroyed at least 11 houses on the hillside of a green area in the neighborhood on Sunday night (12), killing eight.

Klebson Nunes Barbosa, 34, Jusiclea Barbosa da Silva, 32, Caleb Mendez Nunes, 7, and Eloisa de Lima Referrino, 7, and Venezuelans Rosmig Elena Salazar, 44, Danielson Rosniel Alvarado Salazar, 5, Israel Joniel Di Franco, 7. and Ilan Yoan Franco Collared, age undisclosed.

The accident that claimed their lives was one of 120 incidents attended by the Civil Defense Service due to floods and landslides in the city this Sunday (12).

“We heard screams, noise. It was very sad,” said Venezuelan driver Hector Castelhanos, 47, whose family was among those forced to flee their homes in the neighborhood.

He lost his neighbors and this Monday he was looking at bags of clothes and some things that were removed from the house where he lived with his wife, daughter and grandchildren.


“The economy is better in Brazil,” Hector said as he revealed that he came to Brazil to look for work, but that his plan is to return to his country in two years.

The driver says that the neighbors who were victims of the landslide were also striving for a better life. “I knew them all, they were looking for a better life for themselves and their children.”

One of the residents who helped rescue the bodies, unemployed Carlos Silva, 38, said he was returning home from church when the accident happened.

The community was without electricity, some people used mobile phones to illuminate the environment. Others removed mud and debris and helped evacuate residents from mud-struck homes.


“We went down desperate. We just took it out with our hands. Some had shovels and axes. The others had a bucket. It was such a despair that no one could stand it. Everyone was working and crying.”

Giovanni Souza, 31, the owner of a restaurant on a street near the scene of the tragedy, said he helped recover the bodies. “When I arrived and saw people desperate, I thought: it must be manual. We used our hands, pots… What were we thinking?’

He says that the residents were hoping to find people alive, and at first they heard a woman’s voice. At first he was called and he answered. Two hours later, they managed to reach the place where the voice called for help. “He was holding his daughter, they were already dead.”

Although Manaus is in the rainy season, which runs from December to April, the city’s heaviest rainfall period, Sunday’s water volume was above normal, with 100 millimeters of rain, compared to an average of 60 millimeters.


Gilmar Onorato, a geologist and researcher at the CPRM (Brazilian Geological Survey), says that a 2019 study identified 1,600 areas in Manaus that are considered very high-risk for events such as flooding, flooding and flooding.

According to the CPRM, there were 18,000 houses in these areas with a population of around 73,000. The risk areas were concentrated mainly in the northern and eastern zones, which are the most populated in the city and are marked by unstable housing caused by riots over the past few decades.

The geologist notes that the site where eight people died was not included in this study because the houses affected by the landslide had not yet been built.


“Manaus, with its population growth, tends to have more risk areas. If an inspection is not carried out to clear the slopes and areas subject to flooding, it is possible that the risk areas will increase,” Onorato said.


He added that the CPRM study should be updated every year by municipal technicians to avoid accidents like this Sunday’s.

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