Heavy rainfall since mid-February has triggered widespread, severe flooding in Madre de Dios, Peru, leaving at least 15 000 people affected and thousands of property damage. This has prompted the government to declare a state of emergency for the region for 60 days.
According to environment minister Gabriel Quijandria, floodwaters damaged about 4 000 homes, several schools and health facilities, and around 3 000 ha (7 400 acres) of crops.
The affected areas include Pueblo Viejo, Las Piedras, Laberinto, and Boca Colorado.
"We have flown over the areas near and far from Puerto Maldonado and the truth is that the situation is worrying," said the minister. "There is significant damage in several towns, such as Laberinto."
Peru’s National Civil Defense Institute (INDECI), along with the armed forces, are working together to distribute relief supplies, including personal hygiene, cleaning products, mattresses, sheets, kitchen utensils, and mosquito nets.
Puerto Maldonado registered 150.8 mm (5.9 inches) of rain in a 24-hour period to February 19. The Madre de Dios River was also at a red alert level, according to the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service SENAMHI.
In the Las Piedras district, Tambopata Province, the overflowing of the Madre de Dios river damaged 50 homes and prompted 37 families to evacuate.
En el sector de Pueblo Viejo y lugares aledaños, personal policial viene realizando labores de rescate y evacuación de las personas que resultaron afectadas por las inundaciones a causa del desborde de los ríos Tambopata y Madre de Dios. #PorUnPerúSeguro pic.twitter.com/AgzgPtNTb4— Policía Nacional del Perú (@PoliciaPeru) February 21, 2021
¡Las Fuerzas Armadas siempre al servicio del país! Personal del @EjercitoPeru ayudó a trasladar bienes de ayuda humanitaria para las personas afectadas por las inundaciones en Las Piedras y Tambopata, ante el desborde del río Madre de Dios, producto de las intensas lluvias. pic.twitter.com/YfF3FO6RBM— Mindef Perú (@MindefPeru) February 21, 2021
Featured image credit: Peru National Police
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