new emergency in cuzco

huarcarpay plan peruWe have received new flood reports from our Peruvian staff and from our friends at Plan Peru. On Monday, 01 March, another landslide affected Cuzco after intense rains had been falling on the region for more than 24 hours. The capital of the district of Taray, where Plan has been at work for the past ten years, has been one of the areas affected by a landslide in the Huancalle community and the overflowing of the K’esermayo River, whose waters have flooded more than 80% of the households, causing the collapse of adobe buildings.

The overflowing of the river occurred at approximately 3 am, when the families were asleep. Preliminary reports indicate that there are 8 deceased persons (among them 2 children), 3 missing persons, 300 affected families, 37 collapsed households, 147 houses deemed uninhabitable and a completely collapsed water system. The Taray Health Centre is close to collapsing as the water has severely damaged its foundations.

Summer Davis, Intrepid Andes Deputy Operations Manager reports: “We called Intrepid group leader Augusto, who is from Taray and was there when his home was washed away. He said that people needed food, but there was no where to cook. So we decided to buy water, plus ham, cheese and bread to make sandwiches. We purchased 400 bread rolls and everyone in the office pitched in to help.

We organised one of our transport operators to drive Intrepid staff, Boris and Elvis, to Taray with the food and water. When they arrived they met with Augusto and delivered the items to the municipality for distribution. Boris reported that the situation in Taray was very sad, with most of the houses washed away. About 400 people were gathered in the center, needing food and water. They were trying to rescue whatever they could from their houses. We knew that the local government wouldn’t send help or resources until possibly days later, which is why we wanted to act as quickly as possible. We have tried to contact our friends Waldi and Alonso in Taray, the guys in charge of Escuela Winaypaq, the Intrepid Foundation-supported school, but as of yet no luck. The power is off so this is likely to be the reason, but we shall continue to try to reach them and offer our assistance.”

Plan Peru tell us the rains have also caused the Huatanay River to overflow again, flooding communities located on the riverbanks. Additionally, the area of Zurite has suffered a new landslide and Huacarpay, which was already in a state of emergency, was affected again by the heavy rains. In these areas, Plan maintains a focus on child protection and they continue in their efforts in distributing shelter kits to affected persons and through the implementation of basic water and sanitation systems.

We ask you to dig deep for Peru. The Intrepid Foundation has launched the Intrepid Peru Floods Appeal to help Plan support the flood-affected people of Peru. See how you can help and have your donation doubled by Intrepid*. As of 19 March we have donated AU$20,000 and raised another $10,830, but much more financial assistance will be needed.

* Donations will be matched up to another AU$20,000, with a maximum of AU$5000 per donor.

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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