Yesterday evening, the Peruvian government declared a 60-day state of emergency across multiple districts spanning at least 18 out of the country’s 25 regions.
This decision comes in anticipation of the potential onset of the El Niño phenomenon, which could bring severe rainfall and related hazards.
The government acted upon a report suggesting that the El Niño event, regardless of whether it’s weak or of an “extraordinary” intensity, would likely result in floods and landslides along the Peruvian coastline and the western Andean slopes, causing significant human and material losses.
In accordance with this official decree, regional and local governments, together with the National Civil Defense Institute (Indeci) and other public and private entities, are instructed to “implement immediate and necessary emergency measures and actions to mitigate the extremely high risk currently present.”
The report also identified several areas – including population, housing, transport routes, health, education and road infrastructure, and agricultural lands – that require immediate actions and measures to reduce the identified risks.
The decree elaborates that regional authorities “lack the capacity to respond to the imminent danger”, necessitating technical and operational intervention from national government entities.
The decree, published in the official gazette El Peruano, applies to localities in the departments of Amazonas, Ancash, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, San Martin, Tacna, and Tumbes.
The Multisectoral Commission in charge of the National Study of the El Niño Phenomenon (Enfen) warned in May that once it arrives, the “coastal El Niño” could persist until the beginning of spring, which in Peru commences on September 22.
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