The governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite (PSDB), published a video on his social networks, in which he asks residents of the Vale do Taquari region to leave their homes and look for safe places to take shelter. The video was published shortly after the state’s Civil Defense issued an alert about the level of the Rio das Antas and the risk to cities near the Castro Alves hydroelectric dam.
According to the Governor, there is a possibility that the population of the affected region “will experience an episode similar to that experienced in September”. He made the reservation that the greatest risk at this moment is in relation to the increase in river levels and not the floods.
Leite listed some of the municipalities that are at risk, and that are part of the so-called “Rio Taquari community”, including: Santa Teresa, Roca Sales, Mussum, Colinas, Lajeado, Estrela and Arroio do Meio.
He also stated that river levels could rise rapidly in the coming hours and reinforced the request for evacuation.
⚠️ ALERT for the Taquari Valley: even if it is not in the form of floods, there is a strong possibility of a very rapid rise in the Taquari River in the coming hours, potentially reaching levels similar to those of the September/23 episode. pic.twitter.com/jcYrDHeoGP
— Eduardo Leite (@EduardoLeite_) November 18, 2023
“It is very important that everyone knows that this risk is real and that we need people who live in these high-risk communities, in these locations that were hit in September, to leave their homes and be in safe places”, stated the Governor of Rio Grande do Sul.
“I insist that it is time for us to take care of everyone’s lives and then we will be very careful to establish, reorganize and recover what may have been impacted due to the heavy rains of the last few days.” he concluded.
Sirens activated at the Castro Alves dam
Earlier, the Rio Grande do Sul Civil Defense issued an alert stating that the sirens at the Castro Alves Hydroelectric Power Plant (UHE) Dam, under the responsibility of Cia Energética Rio das Antas (Ceran), had been activated. The status of the dam was also changed to “Attention”.
Both Defense and Ceran reported that there was guidance for residents to leave their homes and that people who had not yet been mobilized to leave the area should contact the Civil Defense of the cities closest to the dam (Nova Roma and Nova Pádua) or the Defense State civil service to continue with the removal.
According to the state Civil Defense, “evacuation is a preventive action. So far, there is no indication of an anomaly in the behavior of the structures, that is, there is no risk of the dam breaking.”
Questioned by CNN the Civil Defense team reported that the residences close to the river and the dam were already empty and that they were sporadically occupied properties.
Ceran reported that, this Saturday (18), the flow of the Rio das Antas is similar to that of September 4, when the river flooded and swept away cities in the region. According to the company, the dams present no risks and are safe. The company’s actions are preventive.
In addition to reinforcing that the population follows the guidelines of the competent bodies, Ceran asks that residents inform themselves through official means of communication to avoid the spread of misleading information.
See also: Enel prepares emergency measures for rain in SP
Source: CNN Brasil
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