Heavy storms brought on by El Niño conditions have led to one of the biggest natural disasters to hit Peru in several decades, Reuters reports. After several weeks of rain, flooding and mudslides that have left hundreds of thousands homeless, conditions in Peru are at a critical stage. The prices of certain groceries, including potatoes, lemons, and cooking oil, have increased. Parts of Lima have lost access to clean water. Peru’s government has increased its military presence throughout the country to aid the relief effort and to help stem the panic slowly growing among the country’s people.
Many people in Peru are struggling to find the basics needs for human survival.
Resident of Piura Hector Santos told the Los Angeles Times, “We don’t know where to turn because no one is helping us.”
NBC reports that a major concern for the Red Cross is the potential for disease to spread via mosquitos. Their numbers are expected to blossom in the stagnant water that now covers many areas in the country. Mosquitos are known to spread illnesses such as dengue fever, malaria, zika, and many more.
The disastrous conditions have taken out many roads and bridges, hampering the ability for relief to reach those in desperate need. Peru’s government has estimated that the damage caused by flooding could take up to three years to repair fully, the Los Angeles Times reports.
As bad as conditions currently are, Peru’s rains are expected to continue.
How can you help?
— IFRC Americas (@IFRC_es) March 29, 2017
While money is coming in from many China, Colombia, and the U.S., which has already offered $525,000, the Red Cross and other charities are welcoming donations of all sizes. Check out the Red Cross’ donation page to make a contribution. If you can’t make a donation, please share the link to spread awareness.