Peru: El Niño could leave 1.2 million homeless


The Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Manuel Benites, warned the public yesterday of the worst extent that this year’s “El Niño phenomenon”: could bring to the country; 1.2 million could be left homeless.

The Ministry is making predictions based on the National Institute of Civil Defense’s (Indeci) data on the 1982 and 1997 “El Niño”: seasons and the current trends being measured in the ocean by scientists.

The years 1982 and 1997 El Niño seasons are considered the worst for Peru’s recent recorded history.

At the worst, about 1.2 million people could be left homeless or directly affected by El Niño, across the country.

Their analysis concludes that about 2,365,628 homes are located in 71,226 zones of high exposure to the coming El Niño. This means 11,828,142 civilians are facing potential threats from the phenomenon.

In light of their data, Minister Benites has declared a state of emergency starting in July of this year in 14 regions. The regions are the most vulnerable to rain, flooding and mudslides.

The populations of Tumbes, Piura, Ancash Cajamarca, San Martin and the Amazonas face the highest threats of exposure to El Niño. Seventy percent of the population in those regions are threatened.

The Minister expects that in November they will know the full extent of the effects, and at the moment, February could be the worst month for those in high exposure regions.



Hillary Ojeda

Hillary moved to Peru in August of 2014 to learn Spanish, live with her family, and pursue writing. Born and raised in Bakersfield, Ca, Hillary earned her B.A. in Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley. Since moving to Peru she drinks fermented potato and coca concoctions daily and is enjoying learning about the abundant and natural andean foods of the country. Hillary hopes one day to become an investigative journalist. You can follow her blog.