Civil Defense may declare emergency in Loreto due to drop in Amazon river level

The civil defense committee in Peru’s north-eastern Loreto department will meet on Friday to discuss declaring an emergency due to a drop in the Amazon River’s water level.

Water levels in the Amazon River in Peru, which is the main means of transportation to the jungle city of Iquitos, Loreto’s capital, has fallen to historic lows, which creates concerns for the supply of basic goods, daily El Comercio reported.

“The transportation of basic products are not arriving at a regular interval,” the regional head of National Defence, Robert Falcon, said. “In normal conditions it would take 12 to 15 days, but now it takes twice as long. That increases speculation and the price of goods. The proposal is to create an airlift to guarantee the transportation of basic articles.”

The decrease in water is largely due to the El Niño weather phenomenon, the head of Peru’s national meteorology and hydrology service Senamhi in Loreto, Marco Paredes, said.

“The main cause of this lack of precipitation is that it is not raining in the basins of the Ucayali, Huallaga and Marañon rivers,” Paredes said, adding that that precipitation is falling in Colombia and Venezuela.

“Even though El Niño ended in May, it has left consequences such as the movement of the rains, which have also affected Brazil.”

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