Peru

Peru: Cold Wave - Information Bulletin n° 3

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
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In Brief

This document is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking any funding or other assistance from donors for this ope ration at this time.

The Situation

Although during the past few weeks the temperatures in the Peruvian highlands have begun to rise (0°-5°C), fresh snowstorms have covered zones 3,800 metres above sea level, worsening the cold wave. The departments most affected by the snowstorms are Cusco, Arequipa and Ayacucho; the most critical situation is in the province of Espinar, Cusco, where 50% of the cattle have been lost. The other affected departments: Tacna, Moquegua and Apurímac continue to suffer. The National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology (SENAMHI) has forecast that rain and snow storms will continue to fall in Puno, Cusco, Ayacucho, Huancavelica and Junin over the coming days.

Regions affected:

Department
Province
Metres above sea level
Ayacucho Lucanas
3,800
Ayacucho Páucar
4,800
Huancavelica Castrovirreyna
3,900
Arequipa Caylloma
4,200
Arequipa Castilla
4,000
Arequipa Condesuyos
3,800
Arequipa La Unión
3,800
Puno Huancané
4,800
Puno San Antonio de Putina
4,400
Puno Carabaya
4,600
Puno Azángaro
4,100
Puno Melgar
4,300
Puno Lampa
4,300
Puno Chucuito
5,000
Cusco Espinar
3,600
Cusco Chumbivilcas
3,600
Cusco Canchis
3,500
Cusco Quispicanchis
3,300
Moquegua General Sánchez Cerro
3,000
Tacna Candarave
3,300
Tacna Tarata
4,200
Tacna Tacna
3,800
Apurímac Antabamba
3,600

In these areas in which poverty is widespread, many children are malnourished and become the main victims of the severe cold wave. There are insufficient health centres in close proximity to the communities. For example, in Cojata, there are 32 communities which depend on a single local medical centre and all communities are located at a distance of four to eight hours. There are no ambulances available and therefore if there is an emergency, the only option is to rent a vehicle which is beyond the means of most.

The cold is also damaging the infrastructure of schools, health centres and homes. However, the main concern of farmers is their source of income, crops and cattle. In two communities alone, Chachas and Caylloma, in Arequipa, 3,000 baby alpacas were killed by the cold. In Tacna, 2,000 vicunas and alpacas died from hunger and in Apurímac, 6,000 animals also died since besides the cold temperature that freezes the grass, drought is also striking the region, worsening the problem.

Statistics to date are as follows:

  • 177 children have died from pneumonia in the Southern region of Peru; 339 have died country wide.

  • 26,462 cases of pneumonia have been registered during the year.

  • 1,839,888 cases of severe respiratory infections had been registered as of July.

  • 5,872 houses have been damaged by winds and cold temperatures.

  • 70% of the zones where the lowest temperatures are recorded are characterized by extreme poverty and in which the population's work is associated with the wool trade.

  • The average wind speeds reached 40 km per hour.

  • In Tacna, in mid August, the lowest recorded temperature was -28°C.

  • 25% of total heads of cattle have been lost in the affected regions.
Department
Number of Children under 5 who have died
Pneumonia cases
Severe Respiratory Infections
Ayacucho
6
423
36,254
Huancavelica
27
610
31,386
Arequipa
6
1,059
86,853
Puno
65
868
40,362
Cusco
58
1,626
65,411
Moquegua
5
47
18,284
Tacna
5
158
25,885
Apurímac
5
446
16,536

Sources: Newspaper Peru 21, Health Ministry, Regional Health Directorate of Puno and Regional Directorates of SENAHMI.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Action

Thanks to the campaign "Let's keep a brother from the South warm", the Peruvian Red Cross (PRC) was able to collect 50 tonnes of humanitarian aid, which was delivered between 28 and 30 August to the departments of Arequipa and Puno, benefiting 5,66 0 families . The truck with relief goods departed from Lima on 26 August for Arequipa, from where the distribution was coordinated. Distributions took place, as below:

Arequipa (Caylloma and Castilla)
1,160 families
Puno (San Antonio de Putina and Huancané)
5,000 families
Total beneficiaries
5,660 families

The campaign encouraged the population to donate warm clothes, blankets, boots, medicines, food and shovels to remove snow and building materials. For the dissemination of the campaign, the National Society enjoyed the cooperation of three important Peruvian media: the newspaper Perú 21 ( www.peru21.com), the television network Frecuencia Latina and the radio network Radiomar Plus, the latter joined the campaign on 15 August.

The PRC collected 40 tonnes of relief goods and the additional 10 tonnes of aid were collected by a simultaneous campaign coordinated by the Renacer Institute in the province Cañete. Along with food and clothes, the PRC was able to deliver 57 boxes of medicines to fight pneumonia, donated by the Eske Group Company.

The lack of facilities for transportation of donations, both vehicles and fuel, to reach the distant Andean communities, was the main problem in the implementation of this Red Cross campaign. The Federation was able to support the PRC with USD 8,113 to meet transportation and other needs, as below:

Human Resources
$ 879
Visibility
$ 425
Transportation
$ 3,083
Training
$ 1,000
Food Aid
$ 2,726
Total
$ 8,113

These funds were reallocated from the remaining balance of funds from the cold wave emergency in 2002 which was also supported by the Federation.

The PRC also received support from the airline AeroContinente to transport donations from Lima to Arequipa.

Although the campaign "Let's keep a brother from the South warm" officially closed on 28 August, due to the ongoing emergency situation, the PRC will continue receiving humanitarian donations at its headquarters in Lima. The National Society's plan is to not only to provide relief assistance, but to ensure longer term aid, by promoting agricultural and cattle breeding projects to strengthen the capacities of indigenous communities to face emergency situations.

For a full description of the National Society profile, see www.ifrc.org

For further details please contact:

The Peruvian National Society in Lima; Phone (511) 265 8783; Fax (511) 470 0599; e-mail cruzrojaperuana@cruzroja.org.pe

Federation Regional Delegation in Lima; Phone (511) 221 8333; Fax (511) 441 3607; e-mail ifrcpe01@ifrc.org

Olaug Bergseth, Regional Officer, Phone (41) 22 730 4535; Fax (41) 22 733 0395; e-mail olaug.bergseth@ifrc.org

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org

For longer -term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.