Heavy Rain in Central and Southern Peru – 1 Dead, 1 Missing

Parts of central and southern Peru have seen heavy rainfall since mid February 2016. The regions of Puno, Areuipa, Cusco and Junín have all been affected.

The severe weather has caused numerous landslides and the flooding of several rivers including the Ramís, Sullca, Urubamba and Coschireni. Roads, bridges and hundreds of houses have been damaged. At least person has been killed and another is missing.

Peru’s National Service of Hydrology and Meteorology (Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología de Peru, SENAMHI), issued a level 3 Meteorological Alert on 22 February, warning that intense rain can be expected until 25 February.

Infrared image of Peru rainfall for 23 February, 2016. Image: SENAMHI
Infrared image of Peru rainfall for 23 February, 2016. Image: SENAMHI

Puno Region

Carabaya Province, in the North of Puno Region in southern Peru suffered torrential rains that caused a landslide in Usicayos on 20 February 2016, affecting almost 1 km of transport routes. A second landslide in the same area was reported on the 21 February 2016. At least one person is reported dead and another is still missing as a result.

Sandia, San Antonio de Putina and Azángaro Provinces were also affected by the heavy rains that caused river overflow. Damages to houses, agricultural cultivation and the collapse of a bridge have also been reported.

As a result of the intense rain in the region, Peru’s National Institute of Civil Defence (Instituto Nacional de Defensa Civil, INDECI) issued a warning for the increasing water level (up to red alert level) in the upper watershed of the Ramís River.

Arequipa Region

Heavy rain was been reported on 22 February 2016 in Arequipa Province, in the region of the same name, in southern Peru.

Several districts of Arequipa Province, including Cerro Colorado, Yanahuara, Alto Selva Alegre, La Joya, Miraflores and Mariano Melgar, suffered damages to homes, transport routes and public utilities. As many as 813 houses have been affected by the impact of the intense rain event. At least 8 of these houses have totally collapsed, displacing several families. According to INDECI, a health centre and two public buildings have also been affected and suffered damages.

Cusco Region

Severe rainfall events affected the Cusco Region, in central Peru. During the morning of 23 February, 2016, the village of Kiteni, in La Convención Province, suffered flooding due to the overflow of the Urubamba and Coschireni Rivers, caused by 8 hours of continuous rain in the upstream watershed.

According to INDECI, 118 families (out of a total of 250 families in the village) have been made homeless after their houses were completely destroyed by the floods and rain. INDECI say that all of the displaced families have been relocated to safe areas.

A landslide caused by these intense rains interrupted the transport communication route between Cuzco and La Convención, causing problems for public and private transport.

INDECI also reported the overflow of the Sullca River between 21 and 23 February, which caused damage to houses and agriculture in Sullca and Chectuyoc villages, Chancis Province. According to local civil defence, 1 house suffered major damage forcing people to evacuate, while 7 other houses have been affected.

Junín Region

Earlier this month, on 16 February 2016, heavy rainfall triggered landslides and flooding in the district of Pampa Hermosa, Satipo Province, Junín region, damaging homes, roads, crops, schools and health facilities.

The towns of San Dionisio, Santa Viviana Baja, Santa Rosita, Santa Ana, Unión Progreso Ancayo, Monte Olivo and San Francisco de Panamá have all been affected, according to INDECI. Over 30 homes have been destroyed and 226 people displaced.