A giant Amazon River wave hurled alligators, boats and fish into a village, destroying two houses and leaving one man missing, officials and local news reports said Tuesday.
A mudslide sent a wall of water rushing across the river, local media said, casting river creatures ashore in the village of Costa da Aguia, some 1,700 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro.
“It looked like a building, growing with an immense velocity,” Marisson Garcia, who lives just across the river from the damaged village, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.
Roberto Rocha, executive secretary for Amazonas state civil defense, said he could not confirm media reports that Friday’s wave was 30 feet high, but said it must have been large to cause so much damage. He said the cause of the wave was under investigation.
Rocha said civil defense workers have relocated the village’s 21 residents, who lived in wooden houses on stilts along the riverbank, and were searching for the missing man.
Mudslides along the Amazon are common at this time of the year when the river levels rise, though they rarely do this much damage, Rocha said.