Cold, floods kill 180,000 alpacas in Peru
Friday, January 13, 2017, 4:49 -
Freezing temperatures in Ayacucho, located in south-central Peru, has resulted in the death of at least 180,000 alpaca. A cold weather front has also been accompanied by wide flooding.
The animals have died of starvation as the grasslands where they normally graze have been frozen over. One of the affected communities is Wayraccasa in the district of Vinchos, province of Huamanga, located 14,763 feet above sea level, where in recent months dozens of alpacas died due to the cold.
According to local media reports, a drought since August of last year hampered the breeding of the alpaca, due to a lack of water in the lagoons, with dry grass weakening the animals who can't withstand the freezing cold and rain.
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Residents in Ayacucho have lost about 30 or 50 animals per family, who mainly depend on alpaca breeding for their survival. Those affected requested the immediate intervention of the regional and national authorities.
"This year due to drought, due to lack of water, due to the disappearance of a harvest, pasture, 180,000 alpacas have died in the region, without counting those who lost offspring. We're only talking about adult alpacas, nothing else," said cattle farmer, Silvio Sechun.
Meanwhile, in the city of Huanuco in central Peru, residents in the Santa Rosa neighbourhood, were seen evacuating flooded homes, as a result of heavy rains, which began three days ago and caused rivers Yacusisa and Aucayacu to overflow, in the Tingo Maria district.
Firefighters helped to evacuate the victims, where some had to climb on trees to avoid being dragged by the water currents.
Residents were seen trying to salvage their belongings. Residents in the city of Pucallpa, in the inland region of Ucayali, located in the Amazon rainforest, endured a torrential rain storm that lasted more than 12 hours.
"I am coming here from my little house because of the flood," said flood victim, Rosa Valero. Several streets, markets and houses were flooded after the collapse of the drainage system in this Amazonian city, local media reported.
According to the National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology (Senamhi), rainfall reached 202.8 cubic millimetres per square centimetre. This means that almost 1.5 million gallons of water fell throughout the city.
Local media reported that Tambo River, which merges with the Ucayali River, is on red alert after increasing its regular water level by 6.5 feet.
Residents also lost their belongings in Puerto La Boca, in the district of Yurimaguas, in Peru's northeastern Amazon, after their rustic homes became flooded. Unpaved roads became puddles of mud that affected vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Residents have asked for help from authorities.
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