Torrential rains in Cusco

Lots of news about the flooding and mudslides caused by torrential rains in Cusco. Most of the damage is in or near the Sacred Valley of the Inca, about 20 miles outside of Cusco.

Unfortunately most of the English language media coverage and most of the Peruvian government’s efforts seem to be focused on helping the US and European tourists who were stranded in Machu Picchu, but you don’t see much about the ordinary Peruvians who are affected.

I’m actually in the US for a while. Patricia and the baby are safe in Cusco. Hopefully the rains will subside soon. The city of Cusco has rapidly expanded over the past 20 years or so and far too many houses are built on the sides of the mountains surrounding the city, any mudslides in the city would be a disaster.

More at En Peru and Diario del Cusco

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4 thoughts on “Torrential rains in Cusco

  1. Robert,

    Thanks for your comment and your compassion. I’m not sure how relief efforts are being coordinated. As you can read on this link, it seems like the affected communities are sort of left to fend for themselves.

    http://enperublog.com/2010/01/29/humanitarian-disaster-in-cusco-abandoned-communities-help-themselves/

    I read that there are some local efforts by the Municipality of Cusco, Cerveza Cusqueña y the Regional Chamber of Tourism (CARETUR-CUSCO). I don’t know how to get in touch with them at the moment, since I’m in the US for a few weeks myself.

    I’d say knowing the Peruvian culture, anyone can travel to Cusco and personally join the relief effort in a small community.

    As I wrote about here, organized charities don’t always appear very effective to me. Read this post about the Peruvian Red Cross.

  2. The Peruvian government and municipalities are much to blame here. They have allowed unregulated urban growth and have failed to prepare any reasonable or logical contigency plan.

    Arequipa is no better than Cuzco, they too have expanded into danger zones, permitting communities to be built in volcanic tributuries where magma would naturally flow in the event of an eruption.

    It is evident that greed far outweighs common sense and human decency.

  3. You’re right Rachel, unregulated urban growth is a real issue in Peru. I’d be afraid to think what could happen if there was a mudslide or earthquake in the city of Cusco, with the development of the surrounding hillsides as it is…

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