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Drought in Brazilian Amazon causes lack of electricity

Staff writer |
The severe drought in the Brazilian Amazon region, where large rivers have dropped to extremely low levels and electricity in this parched area is in short supply, has created a crisis in the northern states.

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The Western Amazon River Authority said that navigation of rivers in the region, such as the Solimoes and the Rio Negro, has been impeded by the low water levels, while state oil company Petrobras faces problems of shipping out its production of crude and natural gas.

Petrobras has had to halt some tankers on the Rio Negro and the Solimoes until those rivers again become navigable and the navy authorizes ships to sail on to the oil fields.

This scenario contrasts with what happened several months ago, when the region was drenched by powerful downpours and the consequent flooding that for days put a number of cities in a state of emergency.

The lakes of Aleixo and Puraquequara near the Solimoes River in the metropolitan region of Manaus, capital of Amazonas state and the largest city of the region, are almost dry, causing environmental damage and putting the region’s fishermen out of business.

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