At least 5 dead as flooding, landslides plague southern Peru
Floods are the most common severe weather emergency in the United States. That’s why it’s important to know what to do if you find yourself driving in one.
Heavy rain in the mountains of Peru triggered flash flooding and deadly landslides while displacing hundreds of families from their homes in multiple districts across the country.
Three people have been confirmed dead by the Ministry of Health following a landslide in Tacna, Peru. Almost two dozen more were injured in the slide with two cases being reported as serious injuries.
The Peruvian Army was deployed to assist in rescue and recovery efforts following the slide, reported Agencia Andina.
Tacna is not the only city that has been affected by flooding. Flash flooding and landslides have been reported in the Puno and Ayacucho districts of southern Peru.
Farther north in the Puno district, two more people were killed in a landslide in the department of Puno with dozens of families displaced after their homes were damaged.
One person is missing and hundreds of families are displaced after another landslide in the Ayacucho region.
Rivers across the region have risen above their banks as heavy rain in the mountains triggered flash flooding downstream.
Flooding has also been reported in parts of Bolivia where rivers have burst over their banks. The president of Bolivia has been visiting areas impacted by flooding.
A cold front tracking from south to north across South America throughout the week and into the weekend helped to increase moisture across parts of Peru and Bolivia to end the week.
This increased moisture helped to fuel areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms, mainly in the mountainous regions.
Most cities across southern Peru have reported very little rainfall within the past week, Ayacucho has reported 21 mm (0.83 of an inch) of rainfall since Feb. 16. However, heavy thunderstorms developing in the mountain peaks cause higher rainfall totals in the peaks and along the slopes.
This amount of water falling over a short period of time overwhelmed rivers and triggered flash flooding downstream as well as a landslide.
This amount of rainfall is not uncommon across this area in what is typically the wettest time of year.
Summer in South America typically runs from about December to February. During this time, tropical moisture increases over northern South America. Storm systems tracking from south to north across the continent can pull this tropical moisture farther south. This increases shower and thunderstorm activities, especially in the mountains.
Puno, a city located in the mountains along Lake Titicaca, normally reports about 158 mm (6.2 inches) of rainfall during the month of February.
In contrast, Tacna is located west of the mountains near the coast where rain rarely makes it out of the mountains. During the month of February, the city reports only 0.8 mm (0.03 of an inch) of rain.
Daily showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue in the mountains of Peru over the next couple of days as rescue and recovery efforts continue. While the weather can still be unsettled, downpours are expected to become more isolated as the cold front pushes north through Brazil.
Continued wet weather can slow the receding of rivers and trigger additional landslides, especially in localized downpours.
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