Peru: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

This Information Bulletin is for information only. The Federation is not seeking any funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.
The Situation

Four people have died in the last 48 hours in floods that have affected several Peruvian departments, the Institute for Civil Defence (INDECI) reported. A young woman, 25, and her baby, died when they were hit by falling rocks in Lima; a three-year-old child died of bronchitis in Lima; and a man drowned in Carapago. The River Huaycoloro, in Lima, burst its banks destroying 30 houses.

According to official estimates more than 1.200 families (6.000 people) have been affected by the heavy rains and landslides ("huaicos" in Peruvian-spanish) in Lima, Tumbes, Cajamarca, Cañete, Junín, Huaycán, Chosica, Huaura, Carabayllo and Cusco. INDECI has reported 64 houses destroyed and 219 hectares of land affected. About 4,500 houses have been damaged.

The official response, coordinated by the Committee for Emergency Operations (COE), has been good. Transportation and Agriculture Ministries have coordinated the cleaning up operation of roads and lands and to ensure the rivers do not burst their banks again.

Meanwhile, municipal INDECI departments have coordinated with the Promotion of Women and Human Development Ministry (PROMUDEH) and the Food Assistance Programme (PRONAA) to distribute food to the most affected families.

The Meteorology and Hydrology National Service (SENAMHI) has forecast rain in several departments of Peru for the next four days as well as fog in the southern departments (Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna) for the next two days.

Sources from the national Research Committee for "El Niño" (ENFEN) have declared that the temperature on the Pacific coast will increase in February and March, but "El Niño" is not expected. Other experts considered that this situation could be a "preamble" for a coming "El Niño" (which happens every five or so years) by the beginning of 2003. There is disagreement about the eventual arrival of "El Niño" (usually from December to June) this year, as rains have been delayed and some southern provinces are affected by minor drought.

Red Cross/Red Crescent Action

The Peruvian president, the major of Lima Alberto Andrade and the president of the Peruvian Red Cross today visited the affected neighbourhoods, concluding that the situation is under control and no external support is needed at the moment.

The Federation programme coordinator in Peru has contacted the president of the Peruvian Red Cross to monitor the situation, while the Buenos Aires regional disaster preparedness assistant (on mission in Peru) has visited the area together with the Peruvian Red Cross relief director and relief coordinator.

The Peruvian Red Cross is conducting an ongoing assessment of needs of the most vulnerable families affected. The National Society is planning to provide them with food parcels and hygiene kits in the coming days. The president of the Peruvian Red Cross declared that the overall relief operation has been good.

Red Cross branches are on alert in several provinces and Red Cross rescue teams are working daily to support fire brigades and INDECI in assisting the population.

The Federation office in Lima and the Field Office in Arequipa are monitoring the situation, and the programme coordinator is in contact with the Peruvian Red Cross in case of further needs. Buenos Aires Regional Delegation (BARD) and the Pan-American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) have offered support if needed.

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For further details please contact :

Luis Luna, Phone 41 22 7304274; Fax 41 22 733 0395; email

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.

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John Horekens
Relationship Management Department

Santiago Gil
Americas Department