23 April 2012 – Flooding hit rural areas in Colombia and Peru on Sunday, driving hundreds from their homes, flooding crops and taking at least three lives in the Boyaca province.

In the Colombian town of La Parada, southwest of the capital Bogota, the Tachira River overflowed its banks and flooded some 200 homes.

Water levels stood nearly five feet deep in homes and streets in La Parada, where hundreds of residents lost nearly all their belongings.

Jose Manrique is a member of the local civil defense crew: "Because of the winter weather, the river overflowed its banks above a farm and affected the entire area of La Parada."

As waters receded, people tried to round up belongings and clean up the streets.

Meanwhile in Tunga, northeast of Bogota, Red Cross volunteers and other local rescue workers evacuated residents in boats.

Local news outlets were reporting three dead, four missing, and 15,000 people affected by flooding in the Boyaca province.

In Peru's Amazon, crops and homes were underwater as the Amazon River and some tributaries flooded.

Heavy Rains Flood Peru and Colombia

28 April 2012 (AP) – Peruvian authorities say a bacterial infection has killed three people and sickened at least 38 where the Amazon river has experienced its worst flooding in three decades.

Dr. Juan Celis of the Loreto regional hospital in Iquitos says the bacterial disease leptospirosis is to blame. The bacteria occurs in fresh water contaminated by animal urine.

UNICEF health official Mario Tavera says homes, schools, health clinics and crops are flooded in the northeastern jungle region.

He says residents, especially children, are also suffering from diarrhea, respiratory, eye, and skin infections.

Peru's government declared a state of emergency in Loreto in early April.

The government says 191,000 people have either lost their homes or suffered significant damage in the flooding.

Infection claims lives in record Peru flood

A flooded street in Peru, April 2012. More than 200,000 people have been displaced by recent flooding in Peru, and many sources of clean drinking water have been compromised. Water Missions International

By Paul Bowers
30 April 2012

Water Missions International, a nonprofit organization based in West Ashley, is working to provide safe drinking water in a northern region of Peru that has been devastated by flooding.

The organization, which provides ready-built water filtration and chlorination systems worldwide, already has equipment on the ground at a headquarters in Iquitos, Peru. Iquitos is the capital of the Loreto region, which has been hit by what Peruvian authorities call the worst flooding in three decades.

Above-average precipitation caused the Amazon River to overflow its banks, leading the Peruvian government to declare a state of emergency in Loreto in early April. So far, the Red Cross estimates that more than 200,000 people have been displaced by the flooding, and many sources of clean drinking water have been compromised. Recently, at least three people have been killed and 38 sickened by leptospirosis, a rare bacterial disease carried in fresh water contaminated with animal urine, according to the Associated Press. Doctors also report that residents (especially children) are suffering from diarrhea and respiratory, eye, and skin infections.

Seth Womble, Peru program manager for Water Missions International, says all of the Peru staff members and some staff from Honduras are working to provide relief in Loreto. He says they are working with local Rotarians, relief organizations including ShelterBox, and government officials to assess the damage.

If you would like to support the cause of Water Missions International, call (843) 769-7395 or visit the WMI website.

Local charity provides clean water in flood-ravaged Peru



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