Peru asks US for more aid to confront floods

2017-03-30 06:49
(Martin Mejia, AP)

(Martin Mejia, AP)

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Lima - Peru asked the United States for more aid to confront the intense rains and flooding that have buried entire villages in mud, displaced thousands from their homes and left 97 dead.

The Andean nation is struggling to recover from what officials describe as the worst environmental disaster to strike in nearly two decades and Defence Minister Jorge Nieto said Peru was especially in need of equipment like pumps to drain areas still waterlogged.

Nations from throughout Latin America have sent airplanes filled with food and water in recent weeks. The United States announced earlier it was donating $525 000 and pledged to redirect helicopters typically working on coca eradication in the Amazon toward the rescue effort.

China, Peru's largest trading partner, announced on Monday it was donating $1.5m to aid in the recovery.

Stranded residents

The unusual rains are being caused by a warming of Pacific Ocean waters off Peru's coast that climatologists are calling a "coastal El Nino." Floods and mudslides have damaged or destroyed nearly 200 000 homes so far this year, leaving some residents stranded on rooftops awaiting rescue.

Meteorologists are expecting at least several more weeks of rain.

The Peruvian government has mobilised thousands of soldiers to rescue stranded residents and is spending more than $1m a day on petrol alone for trucks helping repair the estimated 5% of national roadways that have been damaged.

Read more on:    peru  |  weather

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