Devastating floods strike Peru

People rescued from floods in Peru, AP/Martin Mejia

Intense rains have caused widespread floods and landslides in Peru, reportedly affecting more than half the country. People trapped by floodwater have been airlifted to safety, but sadly 72 people have been confirmed dead (as of 18 March).

The floods have inundated key infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, and left some communities isolated. Concerns have been raised that stagnant water could present health risks, including the spread of Dengue fever.

The unusually high amounts of rainfall are thought to be caused by a warming of the surface waters in the Pacific Ocean, the El Niño phenomenon.  It is predicted that further rains will continue in the coming fortnight.

MapAction has deployed a team to Lima to support the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team in creating an overview of affected areas and priority needs.

All maps and data produced for this emergency will be published in the maps and data page for Peru.