Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Strong rains and floods in central Peru, 172 families affected



Severe droughts gripping Peru have given way to some of the country's most devastating flash floods in decades, catching authorities off guard. Rivers bursting their banks have forced thousands from their homes, with the latest flood in the town of Chincha, located 200 kms (124 miles) southeast of Lima. River Matagente burst its banks leaving 172 families with flooded homes. The sector of Canapay was heavily drenched, local media reported. The overflowing river Matagente continues to wreak havoc in certain areas of Chincha, in the Ica region.

Meanwhile, a cemetery of the district of Asia, located 100 kms (62 miles) to the south of Lima, was flooded by the overflow of Mala river. In the regions of Tumbes, Piura and Lambayeque, located to the north of the country, thousands have been left homeless and six people have died, local media reported, quoting the National Civil Defence Institute, Indeci. The government decreed in February a state of emergency for 60 days in those three regions where 4,900 thousand homes collapsed, according to local media reports.

In the Tumbes - Bellavista sector - located 1,015 km to the northwest of Lima (630 miles), despite having retaining walls, some 30 homes were flooded, as well as some farmland Juan Shapiama, Technical Secretary of Indeci, urged people to get out. "Residents who live where there are floods, it's time to get out, it's time to move to a safer place, a higher place," Shapiama said. The precipitation has been fuelled by unusually warm temperatures in the Pacific that would indicate a strong El Nino if they hold, meteorologist have said. The floods have already killed 43 people across 24 regions in Peru and displaced almost 550,000 people and it could get worse with more rain predicted. About half a million people in Peru live in flood plains, according to a recent report by state water agency ANA.

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