Lima, Mar 13 (EFE).- Torrential rains triggered by a cyclone in the Pacific Ocean battered parts of Peru’s capital early Monday, causing the Chillon River to burst its banks and partially destroy around 25 homes.
Emergency management personnel arrived Monday morning in the northern Lima district of Puente Piedra to inspect the damage and the condition of the victims and verify if anyone was reported missing or had suffered injuries.
Some of the local residents managed to salvage some belongings during the early morning hours and are now waiting to receive assistance from the authorities.
On Sunday, torrential rains caused major flooding in different sectors of the city of Casma, located 330 kilometers (210 miles) northwest of Lima.
In remarks to RPP Noticias, Defense Minister Jorge Chavez characterized the amount of rainfall in Peru in recent days as “extraordinary and targeted.”
He issued an alert to the population living in the Rimac, Chillon and Lurin river basins, saying that “close to 60 percent” of the homes there are located in “highly vulnerable” areas.
Chavez added that over the next 72 hours a multi-purpose vessel will be sent to the most affected regions to deliver motor pumps and other machinery, as well as water and humanitarian aid.
With forecasts calling for heavy downpours in Lima on Tuesday and Wednesday, authorities are monitoring the situation in a bid to prevent damage caused by eventual flooding and mudslides.
Authorities have confirmed seven rain-related deaths over the past few days – one in the northwestern province of Trujillo, four in Piura and two in Labayeque.
A total of 592 districts are regarded as at high risk or very high risk of rain-triggered flooding and landslides.
On Sunday, President Dina Boluarte confirmed during a meeting of the National Emergency Operations Center (COEN) in Lima that a state of emergency had been declared in 400 districts nationwide due to the impact of Cyclone Yaku.
Boluarte traveled Saturday to several flood-affected regions of northern Peru, where she acknowledged that the national government lacked the resources, including machinery such as motorized pumps, to deal with the “terrible situation.”
On Monday, she declared a state of emergency in 18 districts in Lima and four in the neighboring region of Callao for a period of 60 days to immediately respond to the flooding and prepare for further rain-triggered damage. EFE