- BRASILIA (Reuters) - Heavy rain has extinguished more than 95 percent
of the fires which have devastated vast areas of savannah and jungle in
Brazil's northern Amazon, a government agency said Wednesday.
- ``We are out of the crisis phase,'' said
Evaristo Eduardo de Miranda, an environmental researcher with the Brazilian
Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa).
- ``It's a divine coincidence. Most of
the rain fell on the areas with most fires,'' de Miranda said after studying
the latest satellite images of the remote Roraima state.
- He said more rain was forecast for the
next three days.
- Fires set by subsistence farmers have
raged for more than two months in Roraima, ravaging an area the size of
Lebanon. But a downpour Tuesday, followed by more rain Wednesday, quickly
put out most of the flames, de Miranda said.
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- Television newscasts showed firemen dancing
in puddles while two Indian shamans, who Monday night performed a traditional
rain-conjuring ritual, smiled for the cameras in the downpour.
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- An estimated 56,000 settlers were believed
to have lost their crops and most of Roraima's 32,000 indigenous people
were without adequate food and water, fire brigade captain Kleber Gomes