Jun 15, 2014, 9:38 AM EDT
Rain has fallen for days in Natal, and it’s beginning to become a more serious problem than initially anticipated.
The rain began just before the Mexico vs. Cameroon match on Friday, the first played Natal’s Arena das Dunas. Two days later, after 36 straight hours of rain, people are being evacuated from their homes.
The United States are scheduled to open World Cup play in that very arena tomorrow against Ghana.
Natal, a city on Brazil’s northeast coast, is in the midst of its rainy season, as is much of the country. It’s nothing new for the area, as rain causes havoc just about every year, and a fire department spokesman said they’re ready for it.
“Our teams are alert and ready to avoid accidents and to not have the city come to a stop due to this,” the spokesman said.
According to USA Today, the most affected region is Areia Preta, about a 15-minute drive from the stadium. The report says 50 homes have been evacuated so far.
Mayor Carlos Eduardo has declared a state of emergency, according to ESPN, saying in a statement, “the key words here are caution and solidarity” and that “the best thing to do is wait — and wait in a safe place.”
That may be hard to do while a World Cup is in progress. See some images of Natal below:
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