Almost half a million affected by rains

The number of people affected by heavy rains since the beginning of 2008 has increased to almost half a million, the head of Peru’s National Institute for Civil Defense, Luis Palomino, was reported saying. According to Agencia Andina, Palomino said the number includes some people who are affected short term through the flooding of their homes and crops. He added that those “families have been relocated in protected zones and have received tents or other means to settle in.”

Indeci also reported 15 deaths, 24 disappearances and more than 61,000 homes affected by the rains. Most of the deaths have been caused by landslides, or “huaycos” as they are known in Peru, that have destroyed highways and swept vehicles into nearby rivers.

The rains have also damaged 298,860 meters and destroyed 63,410 meters of the Peru’s highways. Previous reports indicated more than 15,000 hectares, or about 37,000 acres, of farm land had also been affected.

The most affected regions are the Lambayeque, Piura and Cajamarca Departments in the north, the Ica and Arequipa Departments in the south, the Ucayali Department in the country’s eastern jungle region, and the Huancavelica Department in Peru’s central Andean region.

According to Agencia Andina, authorities have sent more than 142 metric tons, MT, of aid to the victims since Jan.1 and in February they have sent 61.63 MT’s of aid to the country’s most affected departments. The aid includes material for housing, warm clothing, tools and domestic goods, among others.

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