Peru – Warnings as Tumbes River Rises

Adding to Peru’s recent flood woes, emergency authorities are preparing for flooding from the Tumbes River in Tumbes Region after heavy rain caused river levels to jump over the last 2 days.

The National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology (Senamhi) issued a red alert for flooding along the river on 05 March when flow reached 1,424.6 cubic meters per second at its Cabo Inga station. Increased river levels were also expected at Tumbes, a city of 110,000 population. Tumbes Mayor Jimmy Silva urged the population to stay away from the riverbank.

Senamhi said that heavy rain in upper reaches of river catchments over the last few days had caused river levels to increase.

Local media reported that parts of the river had already started to overflow on 05 March, affecting several agricultural areas, mainly in Pampa Grande, San Jacinto, and San Juan de la Virgen districts.

National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci) urged local authorities to activate their emergency plans and warning systems for areas near the Tumbes river basin.

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Three Months of Flooding and Landslides

Peru has endured a period of wet weather since the start of the year, resulting in widespread flooding and landslides.

Last week the government reported that 51 people have died and 79 injured people since the rainy season began in September 2018. Furthermore, 228 houses have been destroyed, 26 bridges have been destroyed and several roads have been blocked by torrential rain and landslides.

During January this year, devastating flooding and landslides have been reported in Junin and Apurímac.

By mid February, flooding in the regions of regions of Arequipa, Ancash, Loreto, Tacna and Moquegua had affected over 8,000 people, made 1,800 homeless and resulted in at least 10 fatalities.

From 26 February, heavy rain affected several regions of Peru over the last few days, causing flooding and landslides in Ancash, Lambayeque, Amazonas, Piura and Apurímac Regions.

Since then several rivers broke their banks in Lima department on 26 February, affecting around 135 families in Lurigancho and Chaclacayo Districts.

Around the same time, over 150 families were affected by flooding in Inambari District, Tambopata Province, Madre de Dios Region.

Further heavy rain caused landslides in Amazonas region on 03 March, leaving communities isolated in San Miguel, Cuispes, San Rafael, Pircapampa, Tulic, Mangalpa and Chahuarpata.

Montalvo bridge destroyed by floods in February 2019 in Moquegua, Peru. Image: COEN