Peru: Cold Front - Emergency Plan of Action - Appeal n° MDRPE010

Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since May 2015 to date, a meteorological phenomenon causing low temperatures, heavy snowfall and frost has affected the Andean regions located above 3,500 metres above sea level; temperatures have dropped below 0°C, and there have been snowstorms and hail. In some places, temperatures reached -15° C, severely affecting the lives and health of the population, as well as basic services, livelihoods (livestock and agriculture) and the infrastructure of various structures, including schools.

An initial declaration of a 45-day state of emergency on 19 July 2015, for the districts and provinces in the departments of Apurímac, Ayacucho, Arequipa, Cusco, Huancavelica, Lima, Moquegua, Pasco, Puno and Tacna was made in response to the cold wave sweeping through Peru. On 5 August, the government escalated its original declaration of a state of emergency nationwide. On 6 August 2015, weather forecasts predicted that the night-time low temperature on 9 August will be -18 Celsius in areas located 4,400 metres above sea level.

Approximately165,710 people are affected and 100 are homeless due to this cold front in the departments of Apurimac, Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, Junín, Pasco, Puno and Tacna. In addition, 529 homes are damaged, 11 have collapsed and 11 have been rendered uninhabitable. Frost has affected the health of the population including livestock. According to the National Civil Defence Institute, 65,834 animals are reported dead and 938,813 animals have been affected. In terms of agriculture, 1,162 hectares of crops have been lost, and 1,894 hectares have suffered damages.

The National Meteorology and Hydrology Service of Peru (SENAMHI is its acronym Spanish) reports that temperatures will continue to drop in August, especially in the central and southern highlands. Possible frost has been forecast for southern regions while regions north of jungle areas are expecting lower than normal temperatures. SENAMHI is also forecasting that this situation will continue before the end of the cold season, which normally lasts until August or September.

In view of this event, SENAMHI believes that levels of vulnerability will increase due to the dropping temperatures in the high Andean and highland regions.