March and April 2017 were two of the most disastrous months for Peru since 1998. During its rainy season, Peru received ten times more rain than it typically receives, displacing thousands of people. Several towns and homes were washed away as rivers rose and landslides swept, making regions in Peru uninhabitable. A reported 70+ were killed in the floods and more than 70,000 people fled their homes and are now homeless. More than 50 percent of Peru is in emergency status and disaster relief programs are in effect. Leaders in Peru believe that the rains are due to climate change since glaciers in the Andes have already retreated and crop cycles have had major shifts.
Being from Peru, this development is close to my heart as I have extended family members who were in danger from the flooding. However, I found that my family in Peru provided aid during natural disasters. In March I scrolled through Facebook to find uncles and cousins post videos of themselves building sandbag barriers to divert rushing rivers going through streets. This was at the very beginning of the season, when no one knew the extent of the damage the rains would cause nationwide. Thankfully, no one in my family was negatively affected by the flooding.
The height of the flooding took place several months ago, but the cleanup, along with the need for national and international aid, continue. Medical supplies are still being collected in the 50 percent chance that El Niño shows up later this year.
New York Times
Luigi Cruz is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Missouri–Kansas City studying for a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing.