22 DECEMBER 1997. PERU AND CHILE: CLIMATE (FLOODS AND DROUGHT)

"This is a summary of accounts of El Comercio in Lima Dec. 19: "Flooding and drought affect 120,000 persons in different regions in Bolivia. The flooded departments . are Santa Cruz and Beni, which border Brazil. Here 75,000 people experienced heavy rains "never registered before in Bolivia." In the altiplano, specifically in the departments . of La Paz and Potosí, which border with Peru and Chile, are experiencing drought and high temperatures up to 28° C. The Minister of Defense states that it could become worse next January. In southern Peru, departments . of Puno and Arequipa the highlands are losing natural grasslands due to the drought and high temperatures. In the highlands of Arequipa there are about 100,000 cameloids. Some communities have began sacrificing llamas and alpacas for lack of fodder. In east central Peru, in the provinces of Satipo, Chanchamayo (Dept. Junin), and Oxapampa (Dept. Pasco), heavy rains and landslides have isolated numerous towns by destroying the mountain roads infrastructure, and about 1,000 houses, also debilitating bridge structures. Fourteen persons are reported dead, 800 head cattle lost, and 70% of productive land destroyed. Due to continued bad weather and roads being impassable aid cannot be delivered. In northern Peru, the city of Cajamarca is also having heavy rains with damage to cultivated fields. In the Dept. of Piura traffic sometimes comes to a halt for minutes or hours due to the rains that make roads dangerous as they could be washed away. In Tumbes the ríos Zarumilla and Tumbes overflowed heavily causing the disappearance of ten persons, isolating towns, and flooding extensive low areas."-- Manuel Plenge <MAPlenge@southernperu.com.pe>

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