Peru Declares a State of Emergency Across the Entire Northern Coast
On Friday, March 17 the Peruvian Government officially declared a state of emergency for the northern coastal regions of Peru. An unusual amount of seasonal rainfall has triggered severe flooding and mudslides throughout the Carretera Central, destroying roads, collapsing bridges, and forcing school closures indefinitely. Entire towns are being evacuated and 100,169 people have been left homeless. 75 people have been reported dead already, 263 injured, and 20 missing. 627,048 people have been affected by the rains and flooding.
The regions hardest hit are the northern departments of Piura, Lambayeque, Tumbes, and La Libertad with the regions of Abancay, Arequipa, Ancash, Ayacuho, Cajamarca, Huanaco, Ica, Junin, Puno, and Ucayali also affected. Machu Picchu, Cusco, Amazonas, and Paracas were not affected.
Parts of Lima experienced flooding and mud slides as well. A recent downpour caused flooding in many of Lima’s outlying neighborhoods, leaving residents stranded without access to food and water, their homes and neighborhoods buried under water and mud. Schools in Lima have been shut down for the foreseeable future. Even those parts of Lima that managed to avoid the flooding are without water and running out of food quickly with prices for commodities like bottled water and limes on the rise.
This is the worst natural disaster to strike Peru in recent history. Rain along the northern coastal regions of Peru, especially in Lima, is rare and the infrastructure and land are not equipped to deal with such persistent downpours. It is believed that an atypical warming of sea temperatures off the coast of northern Peru caused unusual amounts of rainfall throughout these regions, a phenomenon known as a “coastal El Nino”.
Residents throughout Peru are mobilizing to send supplies and aid to those affected by the disaster and the Peruvian military and government are setting aside funds to support and evacuate those in peril.
You too, can support the relief efforts by either:
- Donate to the Red Cross Peru. Your donation will go towards providing emergency medical assistance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction services to the thousands of communities devastated by the flood
- Donate to Meraki Peru – online donations received via online donation platform Go Fund MeDonate to Kuoda directly via our Bank of America account in Florida, USA. We’ll get your donation to local on-the-ground relief efforts and organizations providing supplies and support to those affected. You can make your donation to:
In the meantime, to raise awareness and support for Peru use the hashtag #PrayForPeru or #UnaSolaFuera. You can learn more or about other current relief efforts here.
Let’s do what we can to support Peru and the many individuals in need during this difficult time! With our help they can overcome this devastating natural disaster.