Peru declares state of emergency in more than 800 cities

Peru declares state of emergency in more than 800 cities

Due to abnormally high rainfall and the worst flooding in two decades, Peru has declared a state of emergency across half of the country, in more than 800 cities. The rain, blamed on a local El Nino phenomenon, has so far delivered 10 times as much rainfall as normal.

At least 100 000 people have been left homeless since the start of the rainy season in January and at least 75 killed. More than 260 people have been injured. 

Whole communities have been cut off by mudslides, destroying roads and railway tracks in the worst floods the country has seen since 1998. Eight hospitals have collapsed, and 16 others are uninhabitable. Some hospitals are in need of supplies and water, and there is the possibility of increased disease outbreaks due to mosquitoes. Authorities are reporting food and drinking water shortages in many areas.

According to the National Emergency Operations Center, 99 475 Peruvians had lost everything since the beginning of the year, while 626 928 had suffered less serious damage to their homes. 

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski affirmed he is coordinating international assistance to address the emergency in the country.

"We must help each other in solidarity with those who are victims," Kuczynski said, adding that every state minister has been tasked to coordinate aid in a determined region, and that National Civil Defense Institute, Armed Forces, and National Police are working constantly to cope with the difficult situation.

The country faces another month of heavy rain and flooding.

Video courtesy Euronews

Featured image: Floods in Peru - March 2017. Credit: Euronews

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