191,000 people are homeless or have have suffered “significant” damage due to flooding in the Amazon region of eastern Peru, reports the Associated Press.
The flooding is considered the worst in 30 years, inundating croplands and communities along the Amazon River and its tributaries. Last month the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency in Loreto, a region that borders Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil. Now there are reports of a leptospirosis outbreak, which has already killed three people. Hundreds of others have been hospitalized with skin, intestinal, and respiratory problems.
Damage has been exacerbated by new developments in floodplain areas as well as higher than usual rainfall.
Scientists have warned that Peru is likely to experience increased incidence of flooding and drought as a result of climate change. Last week the country adopted a resolution to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions.
“If we don’t do something we will have problems with water supplies along the coasts, we know there will be more droughts, more rains … we are already seeing temperature changes,” Mariano Felipe Soldan, head of the government’s strategic planning office, told Reuters.