16 DECEMBER 1997: PERU, ECUADOR, CHILE & ARGENTINA: CLIMATE (RAIN)

"The week of December 8, heavy rains and overflowed canals in Santiago caused flooding in parts of that city. In northern Chile, certain species of sharks and Galapagos turtles have appeared.

Northern Argentina in Cordoba has also been affected by heavy rains and flooding. This weekend heavy rains again are present in Concepción, Paraguay causing flooding. In Guayaquil, Ecuador, the El Niño is most active with heavy flooding.

In southern Peru (Tacna), ocean temperatures have increased and with it the abundance of small and medium size sharks and other fish of warm waters. In northern Peru, long but not necessarily heavy rains have caused flooding in the Depts. of Tumbes and Piura. Constant rains are occurring in the interior of those Depts. Heavy rains that feed the río Puyango in Ecuador which flows into Peru as río Tumbes has cause some minor flooding. This weekend (Dec. 14) the río Tumbes rose rapidly causing flooding with heavy damage in rural areas. Heavy rains have occurred in the Andes east of Trujillo and extreme heavy rains in the city of Huaraz with flooding and crumbling of adobe house. Also, snow-melting is on the increase due to high temperatures. This and rains have increased the volume of Andean lakes. There is danger of some lakes overflowing causing avalanches. As a precaution the Parque Nacional Huascaran has been closed. "Huaycos" or landslides have started in the eastern slope of the Andes in central Peru. Heavy rains are now occurring in the Tingo María area, Dept. Huánuco. The rains in Huaraz and Huancayo and other inter-Andean valleys are not attributed to El Niño, but to the Atlantic weather pattern that crosses Amazonia. Normal rains start at this time of the year with less intensity. The Oceanographic Institute has forecast that rains in coastal Peru will not have the intensity of 1982/83 as ocean temperatures have not reached the levels of those years."--Manuel Plenge <MAPlenge@southernperu.com.pe>

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