Paulo Afonso Falls (also known as Cachoeira de Paulo Afonso) is a series of waterfalls on the São Francisco River in the north-east of Brazil adjacent to the city of Paulo Afonso. They stand up to 275 feet (84 m) high. Upstream of the falls, a hydroelectric dam, the Hidrelétrica de Angiquinho (the first hydroelectric plant in northeastern Brazil) blocks the flow of the river. Prior to the damming of the river, the average water flow over the falls was over 100,000 cu ft/s (2,800 m3/s), and floods exceeded 500,000 cu ft/s (14,000 m3/s).
The falls consist of a steep rapid that descends approximately 80 feet (24 m) and then drops a main plunge of 260 feet (79 m) into a narrow gorge.
The Paulo Afonso Hydroelectric Complex that grew from the original plant was known as Complexo Hidrelétrico de Paulo Afonso in Portuguese, or locally simply as Paulo Afonso. This, and later plants, such as the Hidrelétrica de Xingó downstream, near the town of Piranhas, Alagoas, provide much of the region with electric power.
Famous quotes containing the word falls:
“We had heard of a Grand Fall on this stream, and thought that each fall we came to must be it, but after christening several in succession with this name, we gave up the search. There were more Grand or Petty Falls than I can remember.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)