Sunday, March 26, 2017

Peru’s Deadly Floods Ring Alarm Bell for Latin America

Residents cross a flooded street after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains in Juarmey, Ancash, Peru on March 22, 2017. (Credit: Reuters/Guadalupe Pardo) Click to Enlarge.
Peru's deadly floods are a wake-up call for cities across Latin America to prepare better for extreme weather as climate change and poor urban planning, alongside rapid population growth, worsen the problem of flooding, experts say.

In Peru the worst downpours in decades have triggered floods and landslides, killing at least 78 people and making around 70,000 homeless.  The government has declared a state of emergency.

The disaster has highlighted the heavy human toll and economic damage floods bring, raising questions over how well prepared the region is to deal with disasters.

"The issue of disaster risk prevention still isn't a priority for many governments in Latin America.  There's a long way to go," said Mauro Nalesso, lead water specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

"It seems that we are always waiting for the lessons learnt from the last disaster.  I always hope (it) will raise alarm bells among governments in Latin America," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview.

Climate change is expected to bring more frequent and intense floods, droughts and storms, making a deeper understanding of the way climate change affects local weather patterns crucial, experts say.

Meanwhile, surging urban populations across cities in Latin America - a result of mass migration from rural to urban areas in recent decades - make them vulnerable to floods.

Read more at Peru’s Deadly Floods Ring Alarm Bell for Latin America

No comments:

Post a Comment