Mar 24, 2017

Lima struggles with flooding aftermath

Lima Region
Jurriaan van Eerten
Deutsche Welle
Waiting for something to happen. Photo: DW
Waiting for something to happen. Photo: DW

Lima is still reeling from the flooding and mudslides that have left Peru's capital in a state of emergency. With more rain predicted, the situation is becoming increasingly desperate.


"The river swells every year to a certain extent," [81-year-old Francisco Purizaga] told DW, while pointing to the roaring brown water coming from the mountains. "But I have never seen it this wild."


The mudslides have caused yet another problem for the people in Lima: together with plastic waste dragged from the shores, the mud has clogged the filters of the Sedapal water company forcing it to disconnect most of the city from supplies. Water is now brought to certain distribution points by trucks, where people line up with buckets and jerrycans to at least cover their basic needs. In the first days following the water cut, the supermarkets quickly ran out of bottled drinking water - a further crisis in what is already an abnormally hot summer for Lima, home to some 10 million inhabitants.


Four blocks further along, dozens of people are waiting in line to get water. Lautaro Arau, 55, says the mudslides and extreme rainfall in the mountains are connected to climate change. "This is what happens because of the industrialization of countries. The weather was never this extreme. Never."