Peru – Thousands of Homes Damaged by Floods in Madre De Dios

Flooding in Madre de Dios Region of Peru has affected at least 15,000 people and damaged thousands of homes. The government has declared a State of Emergency for 60 days for the region.

Floods in Madre de Dios, Peru, February 2021. Photo: Minam Peru

After visiting affected areas, Peru’s Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandria said that floods had damaged about 4,000 homes along with several schools and health facilities. Water and electricity services have been interrupted and around 3,000 hectares of crops damaged. 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,” the minister said. “There is significant damage in several towns, such as Laberinto,” he added.

Armed forces are working with Peru’s National Civil Defense Institute (INDECI) to distribute relief supplies including mattresses, sheets, kitchen utensils, mosquito nets and personal hygiene and cleaning products.

Puerto Maldonado in Madre de Dios recorded 150.8 mm of rain in 24 hours to 19 February 2021. Peru’s National Meteorology and Hydrology Service SENAMHI said the Madre de Dios River at Amaru Mayo hydrological station in Laberinto district, Tambopata province was at Red Alert level.

Although showing some signs of falling, flows were 25,868.5 m3/s, above Red Alert level of 21,000 m3/s, as of 22 February.

Madre de Dios River Amaru Mayo February 2021. Image: SENAMHI

Levels of the river have been high for some time. INDECI reported flooding in Laberinto district, Tambopata province on 19 January after heavy rain caused the river to overflow, damaging homes along with infrastructure including water supply.

Flooding affected Las Piedras district, Tambopata province, again after the Madre de Dios river overflowed following heavy rain on 15 February. Around 50 homes were damaged and 37 families evacuated.

Floods in Acre, Brazil

Severe flooding is also currently affecting the state of Acre in neighbouring parts of Brazil. As of 22 February the state government reported over 100,000 people were affected across several municipalities.

The Juruá River in Cruzeiro do Sul reached record levels of 14.31 metres on 19 February, beating the previous high of 14.24 set in February 2017.

Floods in Ucayali, Loreto, Junín and Cusco Regions, Peru

Heavy rainfall since mid-February has caused flooding and mudslides in other regions of Peru, including the neighbouring Ucayali Region, where INDECI reported that around 25 families were affected in Masisea district, Coronel Portillo province after heavy rainfall on 20 February.

In Loreto Region, warnings have been issued for floods in Contamana District after levels of the Ucayali River increased.

INDECI also reported mudslides and floods in the La Merced and Chanchamayo districts, Chanchamayo province, Junín Region after heavy rainfall on 21 February.

Heavy rainfall triggered floods and mudslides in parts of La Convención Province in Cusco Region, southern Peru, from 16 February, causing fatalities and severe material damages.

Levels of the Ucayali river, Contamana, Loreto Region, February 2021. Image: SENAMHI

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