Peru’s national weather service is on the edge of raising the level of alert from orange to red–the most urgent–if moderate rains continue to add to the roaring Rímac River that flows into Lima.
Over the past few days multiple “overflows of the river”:http://www.peruthisweek.com/news-rimac-river-central-highway-photos-108948 have caused havoc on the Central Highway, engulfing the major roadway that allows big cargo to travel between the capital and Peru’s provinces. Homes have collapsed and hundreds of vehicles are stranded.
If rains continue, the National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology (Senamhi) warns that the damage could reach five districts of Lima, according to _El Comercio_.
Senamhi informed that since the heavy rains began in recent weeks, water flow of Rímac River has doubled, reaching 107 m3 /s, when normally it is at a level of 56 m3 /s.
If rains continue to be at a moderate level until Saturday as predicted, Senamhi will raise the level of alert to red. In this case, districts including Chosica, Chaclacayo, San Martin de Porres, Ate and Gambetta in Callao would be vulnerable to flooding.
“Not only are they in danger of overflows, but they could also have river erosion [when the banks erode]that might endanger people living on the slopes of the river,” said Sandra Villacorta, engineer of the Directorate of Environmental Geology and Geological Risk of Ingemmet, according to _El Comercio_.
_Peru21_ reported this morning that authorities have closed 126 kilometers of the Central Highway indefinitely to prevent further problems amid the overflow of the river. The highway is closed between km 48 and km 174.