The Niño Costro
The Niño Costero Aftermath
During the months of February, March and April, Peru´s northern coast experienced an unusual climatic event called The Niño Costero (The Coastal El Ñiño). Due to high water temperature at sea, long and heavy rains fell in Trujillo, Piura and Tumbes regions increasing the water level of the main rivers until they overflowed and great extensions of urban and farming land were flooded. Approximately 101 people died, 149 848 people lost everything, 18 264 houses colapsed and 48 schools were inhabitable. The Bajo Piura valley, conformed by several agricultural based economy villages like Narihualá, Pedregal, Molino Azul and Monte Suyón, was one of the most affected territories. Hundreds of acres of cultivated land were lost, lifestock drowned, entire houses were taken away by the current with beds, clothes, refrigerators, kithchens and all basic belongings leaving thousands of people literally with nothing but their lifes. They all had to run from one moment to another.
The emergency lasted almost a month. People occupied the few small hills that surrounded their houses in improvised camps or were now sleeping on somebody elses undestroyed house. And as the water level dropped they started going back to see what was left finding out most of their properties were gone or useless. There was no water to drink. Or food to eat. Nor other clothes to wear. A Dengue outbreak was soon to come. The thousands that were displaced relied now on the government help and donations. Many Bajo Piura setllers now lived in tents the army had brought (paradoxically not water resistant) and were now wearing “new” clothes that came from all over the country. The Bajo Piura inhabitants have no other way but to start all over again.