Manaus Bears the Brunt of Heavy Rains

13 Jan, 2009

It began to rain in the middle of the night around 2:00AM.


I first thought it wouldn't be as bad as last time, but yet the downpour worried me a bit, so I came to the Museum a little earlier than usual, at around 7:30AM, and this is what I discovered.

Contrary to my expectation, the rainfall this time not only exceeded that of the last time but registered the highest rainfall in the last 20 years. It appeared that the area a few miles upstream had received copious rain.

According to the weather station, the precipitation of usual years averages around 2200mm, and the rainfall in this part of the Amazon registered 2409mm in 2007, while we have had 3098mm of rainfall this year, 811mm more than usual years.

It was reported that today we had 69mm of fall in a relatively short period of time, which flooded various places around the city and required extensive rescue operations.

The accumulated rainwater started to drain by around noon, and quite a few birds came around looking for food at the pond of the Museum, trying to take advantage of the slower-than-usual draining speed. A medium-sized aracari (or 'toucan' also in Portuguese) about the size of a pigeon, which had been pecking aqai (or acai, and 'açaí' in Portuguese) berries at the edge of the pond, unfortunately fell prey to the croc sitting quietly in the water.


Aracaris seldom land on the ground, but this unfortunate one was lured to the berryies of aqai palm trees growing within the hunting ground of this voracious reptilian.

Penned on Dec. 30, 2008

Shoji Hashimoto

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