Peru’s worst weather in two decades leaves 84 dead and 110,000 homeless

World Today

Abnormally high sea temperatures have unleashed the worst heavy rains and flooding in Peru in two decades. So far this year, officials say 84 people have been killed, 21 are missing and more than 110,000 left homeless. Authorities have closed schools as more than half the country is under a state of emergency.

CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports from the Peruvian capital, Lima.

Peru's worst weather in two decades leaves 84 dead and 110,000 homeless

Abnormally high sea temperatures have unleashed the worst heavy rains and flooding in Peru in two decades. So far this year, officials say 84 people have been killed, 21 are missing and more than 110,000 left homeless. Authorities have closed schools as more than half the country is under a state of emergency. CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports from the Peruvian capital, Lima.

Amid the destruction, a story of hope. Images of a woman who emerged from the mud and debris of an immense landslide went around the world.

Less than week later, landslide survivor Evangelina Chamorro appeared with her husband as she left the hospital. She spoke of her ordeal and how she almost gave up:

“The only thing I asked for, I remembered my two daughters who were in school, that my daughters would have to live without a mother or a father. That is what I asked. I said to God: “Lord, give me strength to get out.” I thought of my two daughters. That is what I said,” Chamorro said.

She was dragged three kilometers from her farm and survived by hanging onto branches and pieces of wood. Weeks of rains and floods have displaced more than 110,000 people, collapsed 150 bridges and left nearly 2,000 kilometers of roads unusable.

But throughout Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has called for calm, even sending text messages to every mobile phone user.
Meanwhile, the 78-year-old leader is visiting the areas worst-hit by the floods.

“What we have to do when this all ends is come up a proper plan to channel the rivers – at least where there are curves – so in the future they don’t overflow,” Kuczynski said.

While rains continue to batter the north of the country in the capital, the waters are subsiding and amid sandbags and rubble life is beginning to return to normal although for some living by the river might never be the same again.
The country has begun beginning of the clean-up and reconstruction.

But the misery continues as forecasters warn the flooding may not let up until next month.