The Peruvian government declared a state of emergency in 544 districts for 60 days on Tuesday, due to an “imminent danger” of a water deficit that could arise as a consequence of the possible arrival of El Nino between 2023 and 2024.
The decree, published in the official newspaper El Peruano, said that this would allow “the execution of emergency measures and actions, immediate and necessary, to reduce the existing extreme high risk.”
With the technical coordination of the National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci) and other state institutions, regional and local governments will adopt corresponding measures that will be “modified according to needs” as they arise.
The decree was based on a technical report issued on Sept. 13 by Indeci and other institutions, which reported on current hydrological conditions and the state of reservoirs, as well as the possibility of the El Nino phenomenon in the Central and Eastern Pacific until the summer of 2024.
Warning that the situation could affect the health of the population, crops, and livestock, it said that “urgent measures must be taken” to implement the corresponding measures and actions.
The report added that actions by regional and local governments so far “are insufficient” as they do not have enough technical and operational response capacity “to address the imminent danger of water shortages,” so the national government must intervene.