Major highways collapse because of heavy rains in Peru’s Amazon region

Heavy rain in Peru’s Amazon region have caused various segments of the Fernando Belaunde Highway to collapse, leaving the Department of San Martín and thousands of people stranded, daily Peru21 reported Tuesday.

Peru’s Meteorological Institute, or Senamhi, has forecasted more rain and strong winds in 13 of Peru’s departments for the next 24 hours, which could cause more damage to infrastructure and homes.

Last March, a highway linking Peru’s capital, Lima, to the Peruvian interior was blocked by a mudslide caused by heavy rains, leaving ten districts and hundreds of people stranded. And, since January, five mudslides have paralyzed Peru’s Central Highway – between kilometers 33 and 74 – and caused the death of at least 30 miners in the highland village of Winchomayo.

Peru’s Amazon region has an evident tropical climate, especially during the rainy season. From November to May it rains almost every day, for various hours, often causing floods in low areas. In the Andes region, also known as the sierra, rain usually comes pouring down from November to March. At this time, travel becomes much harder: roads are often impassable, flights are frequently cancelled or delayed due to poor conditions, and landslides affect trains and bus routes.

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