Lima (Agenzia Fides) - The general toll of the latest floods and landslides in Peru has resulted in 145 deaths, 18 missing, 438 injured, over 235,000 casualties and more than a million people affected. The figures date back to the recent report released by the Center for National Emergency Operations (COEN), which was sent to Fides. The climatic impact has also caused the destruction of more than 25,000 homes, another 23,000 are inaccessible and 260,000 buildings have been damaged. Floods also destroyed 79 schools and 25 health centers, hit the structures of 2,600 schools and 840 health facilities.
Due to natural events, 4,000 kilometers of roads and 420 bridges have been destroyed, although most have been rebuilt or repaired, some 30,000 hectares of crops have been lost. The largest number of casualties were found in the coastal area north of the country, where in the regions of Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad and Áncash 66 deaths, 8 missing, 218 injured, about 200,000 casualties were recorded and nearly 730,000 damaged.
The most affected region is Piura, on the border with Ecuador, where more than 80,000 casualties, 360,000 people affected, 5,700 destroyed homes, and another 5,800 remained inaccessible. Floods have been sparked by the atypical phenomenon of "El Niño costero", which occurs when the water warming off the Peruvian coast generates intense and unusual rainfall in the country's desert, turning into floods and landslides, known in Peru as Quechua huaicos.
In recent weeks the rains have become sporadic and river levels have fallen, now the authorities' concern is to deal with the frosts that will be registered in the Peruvian Andes with low nocturnal temperatures close to -20 degrees Celsius. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 23/5/2017)