Geneva, April 11, 2011
- Brief description of the emergency
Since late February, unusually heavy and continuous rains and storms (an effect of climate change) have fallen on the Department of Ucayali, in the Amazon basin, causing the worst flooding in the last 50 years. The Ucayali River and its tributaries have flooded marginal urban areas, riverside villages, farmlands, and rural settlements inhabited mostly by Shipibo indigenous people. According to the government relief agency, INDECI, approximately 49,000 people have been affected in the region. Floods have destroyed homes, schools, and sanitary posts, and all crops have been lost. Those with means have fled to the regional capital, Pucallpa, but the poorest and most isolated people, especially the Shipibos, are trapped in the higher forest areas or on wooden platforms over the waters, surviving mostly on the fish they can catch. Respiratory illness and dengue have affected a great number of people, especially children.