El Nino weather phenomenon affecting thousands in Peru

CCTV News

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Heavy rains in Peru have led to the deaths of at least a dozen people and seriously affected thousands of others. Experts say the country is experiencing the heaviest rains and highest temperatures in two decades, due to this year’s El Nino weather phenomenon.

CCTV Americas’s Dan Collyns reports.

El Nino weather phenomenon affecting thousands in Peru

El Nino weather phenomenon affecting thousands in Peru

Heavy rains in Peru have led to the deaths of at least a dozen people and seriously affected thousands of others. Experts say the country is experiencing the heaviest rains and highest temperatures in two decades, due to this year's El Nino weather phenomenon.

A driver is rescued from atop his truck as a swollen river threatens to drag him to near certain death. Thousands of passengers and hundreds of trucks carrying fruit and vegetables to the capital were left stranded. Rivers broke their banks along Peru’s central highway.

Floods have battered Peru’s coastal region where three quarters of the population live. Later than expected, the El Nino phenomenon has arrived with a vengeance.

“In terms of climate statistics, as long as we have had reliable statistics in Peru for the last 60-70 years. This El Nino is ranked number three in both temperature anomalies and rainfall anomalies,” Meteorologist Abraham Levy said.

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Weather conditions linked to this El Nino has caused the heaviest rains and hottest temperatures in two decades. The weather phenomenon caused by the warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific has also caused drought in the country’s southern highlands. This will impact the livelihoods for some of Peru’s poorest.

“We need our authorities to put their hands to their hearts and see how we live,” Delfina Aguirre, a flood victim, said.

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Despite the recent flooding, Peru is better prepared than in the past. An hour outside Lima, the town of Chosica readied flood defenses.

Less than a year ago, a deadly landslide tore down a mountain destroying everything in its path including the homes that stood there. The people in the town said that they’re more prepared to evacuate.

While some contingency plans have worked, Peru’s dramatic geography has meant many have been left stranded in recent flooding.

Peru’s weather agency has also put the country on alert for even more heavy rains.