More than 450,000 people are grappling with severe flooding in northern Peru, as heavy rain continues to fall. The flooding is the result of record downpours that have engorged rivers, triggered landslides and washed away people, crops and buildings.
The Peruvian Red Cross has activated emergency teams—including more than 2,000 volunteers—in Tumbes, Piura, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Chimbote, Casma, Huarmey and Lima. Red Cross volunteers are providing first aid, pre-hospital assistance and helping people connect with separated family members. Initial, rapid assessments from these teams indicate priority needs include shelter, water and sanitation, livelihood and food security support, and emergency healthcare with an emphasis on mosquito control and responding to water-borne diseases.
“The first assessments from the Red Cross on the ground show that damage has been incredibly severe. Many people have lost everything. They will need support to rebuild their lives,” says Walter Cotte of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
More than 70,000 households have been affected and more than 70 people have been killed in the worst flooding to hit the South American country in decades. The flooding has led to mudslides and power-outages around the country and caused severe damage to infrastructure. More than 700 miles of road has been destroyed, more than 200 bridges have collapsed, and more than 12,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. Heavy rains are predicted to continue into early April.
American Red Cross team members based in Peru have been assisting with preliminary assessments and coordination efforts. Meanwhile the global Red Cross network is scaling up with resources and supporting the Peruvian Red Cross.
Looking for missing family members?
For those concerned about loved ones in Peru: The best way to locate U.S. citizens living or traveling overseas is to contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or +1 202-501-4444. Those searching for a non-US citizen family members can contact the Peruvian Red Cross Restoring Family Links hotline at 011-51-1-241-9906.
Media interviews available. Contact:
Diana Medina (Panama), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, +507 6780 5395
Jenelle Eli (Washington DC), American Red Cross, 24/7 media line: +1 202-303-5551
Follow @IFRC_es and @federation for updates.