On Thursday, July 6, the Government of Peru extended the state of emergency in the northwest region of Piura, as communities continue recovery efforts following heavy rain and devastating flooding that struck the region in the first half of 2017.
Authorities have begun installing 470 prefabricated homes for those displaced during recent flooding in Piura; plans include the purchase of 20,000 more to accommodate the rest of the area.
Thousands of people across Peru have been affected by severe flooding and heavy rainfall since the beginning of 2017, including at least 90 people killed, 20 missing, and 347 injured. The rains follow a severe drought that hit Peru in late 2016. President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is facing widespread criticism for his handling of the crisis and the lack of preventive measures. Areas particularly affected include La Libertad, Lambayeque, Piura, Tumbes, Áncash, Lima, Ica, Huancavelica, and Ayacucho regions.
Meanwhile, concerns persist over the potential spread of water-borne diseases, often associated with widespread flooding. Regional Health Office (Dirección Regional de Salud, Diresa) reported 31 cases of leptospirosis in the Piura region. Leptospirosis, also called Weil's disease, is spread through rat or other infected animal fluids (e.g. urine) that enters the human body through lacerations, the eyes, nose, or mouth. Symptoms of the illness may be confused with dengue fever and include fever, nausea, muscle aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. The disease is serious but treatable with antibiotics.
Individuals present in areas impacted by floods are advised to follow instructions issued by local authorities (e.g., potential evacuation orders). Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult. Visitors should also be aware that the risk of contracting water- and mosquito-borne diseases tends to rise after periods of heavy rains.
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