By Meg Weaver
19 April 2012
Though writer Robert Earle Howells adds greater fuel to our wanderlust fires with his round-up of five Peruvian jungle lodges in National Geographic Traveler’s new issue, now’s unfortunately not the time to visit the Amazon Basin. Super-floods continue to inundate the region — a situation that has been underreported in the English-language U.S. media so far — putting the communities there at risk. Experts speculate that a perfect storm of long summer rains in the Andes combined with greater-than-normal glacial melt has caused the flooding.
The Amazon has reached record breadth, width, and height this rainy season. According to Peru’s Health Ministry, the river has grown at least 6.5 feet during the floods, with the Marañón River, which feeds the Amazon, increasing some 13 feet. Neither river has swelled this much since the 1970s, when a similar flood affected the area. Peruvian newspaper El Comercio reported Health Minister Alberto Tejada’s alarm at the situation: “In 1971 [the flood] did not have an urban impact because today’s human settlements did not exist.”
A state of emergency has been declared in the regional capital of Iquitos, and narrow wooden bridges have been constructed to help residents get around. Some 80,000 people have been forced to inhabit only the upper levels of their homes while others have been left homeless by the flooding. The San Juan de Yanayacu Indian community has also been hard-hit; the small group — more than half of whom are children — has been living on rooftops, in canoes, or on makeshift tree platforms. Along the Tahuayo River the small farms of the approximately 7,000 people living in small agrarian villages there have been washed away and most people’s homes have been flooded. […]
(Global Voices) – The rain in Peru has not stopped. Due to the heavy rains during the months of February and March [es] in much of the highlands [es] and Peruvian jungle, now there are floods in the lower parts of Peru, mainly in the regions of Loreto and Ucayali. Several weeks ago, the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (Senamhi) of Loreto gave warnings [es] of the high levels that the Huallaga, Ucayali, Marañón and Amazon rivers had reached.
And although some authorities had taken [es] measures, it wasn't regarding the expectations of flooding. The Regional President of Loreto only requested [es] a state of emergency when the list of injured persons had reached 40,000. The central government finally declared [es] a state of emergency when the number of people affected rose to 100,000.
The floods have affected [es] the normal development of classes in schools situated in the lower zones of the region. Classrooms have had to be improvised and now take place in local neighbourhoods and residences where the students arrive to class in small boats known as peque-peque. […]
More recent figures have shown [es] that those affected by the floods are somewhere around 200,000 in the Loreto region alone. These figures aren't surprising, given the level that the Amazon river has reached [es] in the last few days, causing many regions of Iquitos to be flooded. The height of the rivers has even surpassed its last record of 118.59 metres above sea level in the year 1986. Such areas are visible as in this photograph, shared by Twitter user Sebastián Faura (@SebastianFaura) [es]. […]
5 April 2012
The worst flooding in thirteen years has destroyed the tranquil no-kill animal shelter that houses 50 dogs. Now these dogs are forced to live beneath the treatment building. The have no space to play. The area is dusty and hard to clean. The animals are stressed out.
The flood waters are not receding, and we have already begun construction of a smaller fenced area on higher land. We can do this thanks to generous donors.
Please visit our http://amazoncares.blogspot.com to learn more.
16 April 2012 (Compassion) – Heavy rains have caused flooding and mudslides in the Lurigancho-Chosica district of Peru since 9 April 2012.
Many homes in this area have been damaged or destroyed, but no injuries or deaths have been reported.
Currently, 18 children from PE-148 Sala Evangelica Child Development Centre, PE-290 Joel Child Development Centre and PE-436 La Semilla Child Development Centre have been affected. These families have had their homes damaged by the flooding. […]
Affected child development centres are using Critical Intervention funding to meet immediate needs. The local government is also helping to provide support for those who have been affected.
Please pray for the affected families whose homes have been damaged by the flooding. Ask for the Lord’s protection and care of our children and staff in Peru.
Compassion Peru will keep us updated as more information is available.
February 2012 (Reuters) – Thousands are forced to evacuate their flooded homes as torrential rains cause swollen rivers to break their banks in Peru. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
By Rob Miller, Senior Meteorologist
22 Apr 2012
Heavy seasonal rain throughout much of Colombia over the past several weeks have caused major flooding throughout the county. The increase in rainfall is attributed to the weather phenomenon called La Niña.
The flooding became deadly earlier this week, claiming the life of one person in the nation's capital of Bogota.
Heavy rainfall in recent weeks have caused major flooding of the nearby Bogota and Chichu rivers. The resulting floods have affected more than 2,000 families in the region, forcing most to evacuate to higher ground.
In the town of Cota, which is located just north of Bogota, local officials reported flood waters as deep as 13 feet in some areas.
In the Valle del Cauca Department, located in western Colombia, local officials have reported more than 500 homes flooded.
The National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) has reported that the seasonal rains have claimed the lives of 19 people and have left over 60,000 people homeless throughout the country. UNGRD reports that these numbers are "85 percent lower than in the same period in 2011."
In 2011, 134 Colombians lost their lives, while more than half a million people were affected.
More heavy rain is expected across the country over the next few weeks as the rain season continues. […]