LIMA – The government of Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski ordered on Tuesday the rescue of thousands of people affected by flooding in the Piura region, more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) north of Lima, after serious flooding affected the regional capital and neighboring areas.
Kuczynski and several of his ministers traveled on Tuesday to Piura to supervise the delivery of humanitarian aid and equipment and the rescue of the thousands of people affected by torrential rains on Sunday and Monday.
Some of the areas hardest hit by the overflowing of the Piura River are the districts of Catacaos, Chulucanas, Tambogrande and the center of Piura city, where the water was almost two meters (6.5 feet) higher than normal.
After flying over the Catacaos district, the president said that “the important thing now is to relocate more or less 10,000 people who are in Catacaos to a secure place.”
“To do that, we need to build two or three more shelters,” Kuczynski added, estimating that the endeavor could take “a month.”
The flow rate of the Piura River on Monday exceeded 3,000 cubic meters (about 106,000 cubic feet) per second, but on Tuesday the river level fell by half, prompting Kuczynski to say that it was a good sign for beginning with partial reconstruction in that coastal area.
Early Tuesday, the president announced that an emergency will be declared in Piura due to the number of people displaced after losing their homes.
So far, the official death toll in the flooding in Peru stands at 91, although the National Police have denied a report claiming more victims in Catacaos released in the last few hours.
Defense Minister Jorge Nieto said that the government will not “abandon” those who have lost their homes or otherwise been affected, adding that rescue workers are now operating in the zone.
So far, the number of people who have lost their homes stands at almost 123,000 and the number of people affected by the flooding stands at about 798,000, while at least 176,000 houses have suffered damage.