LIMA – The death toll in the floods inundating parts of Peru rose to 90 on Saturday, with 20 people missing and 120,899 local inhabitants affected, according to the latest report delivered by Defense Minister Jorge Nieto.
Meanwhile, the number of people affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon on the coast rose to 742,101, of whom 347 were injured.
According to figures of the national emergency management center (COEN) cited by the minister, the heavy downpours and overflowing rivers have left 14,301 houses in a state of collapse, 164,386 homes affected, 40 schools destroyed and 1,391 structurally damaged.
Nieto also said on the RPP Noticias radio station that “flights for civilians have not been suspended, they remain in operation” to provide free transportation on air force planes for people in the affected areas.
At the same time, the minister said that some of the flights must be used to transport agricultural products at the request of regional governors faced with dwindling food supplies due to the climatic emergency.
In the Tumbes and Piura regions, two of the most affected by rainstorms, agricultural products are beginning to decompose in the fields, and if they are not transported to market in time, local farmers will be in for severe economic hardships in two or three months, Nieto said.