In the state of Rio Grande do Norte, the capital city of Natal has been pounded by more than three feet of rain in the past four days giving rise to severe flooding and landslides. Emergency crews sprung into action as the seasonal heat and excessive precipitation combined to loosen the earth in many areas of this FIFA World Cup host city. The landslides and flooding have caused massive roadblocks, canceled events for fans and opened sinkholes large enough to swallow homes in the city that sits upon the northeastern coast of Brazil.
Rain began falling early Friday morning and continued throughout the weekend, ceasing only for a few minutes during the first match hosted in Natal between Cameroon and Mexico before beginning again. The forecast doesn’t appear to be extremely positive either, with the rain predicted to let up slightly before the beginning of the match between Ghana and the USA, but with continued showers throughout the rest of the week.
When asked about the possible conditions for the game, the coach of the team USA Jurgen Klinsmann commented, “It’s raining…field wet, field dry, heat, humidity…we’re not worried about that stuff at all.” Team USA looks to find victory against the team that has knocked them out of the past two World Cups. The weather may play a factor in the game but depending on the severity of the showers, greater challenges could arise for the city of Natal as it tries to manage levels of rain greater than the amount typically received in the whole month of June. The excessive rains create a destructive recipe for many of the less economically flourishing areas of the city that are many times plagued by poor construction standards and unkempt drain pipes; a combination that can have disastrous results.