The El Niño Coastero natural phenomenon that hit Peru several weeks ago was devastating to the country. One hundred lives lost, countless people left homeless and displaced, and severely impacted infrastructure were the immediate travesties following the floods and landslides.
This natural phenomenon (made disaster) has brought to our attention, however, the effects of climate change and the need to prepare for the inevitable return of similar, if not greater, weather events.
Many leading scientists claim that the rains were linked to climate change , pointing out supporting evidence such as the rising temperatures in the Andes causing the retreat of one of the world’s only tropical glaciers, and the large shift in crop cycles in Peru.
Further, the areas that received the most damage were located along the coast in regions previously not occupied precisely because of the likelihood of flash flooding. However, with economic growth and increased development in the country, many Peruvians have migrated towards the coast in hopes of obtaining work. Many of which, settled in these vulnerable areas that were developed by politicians to boost popularity and receive their votes.
With this kind of information, how will Peru proceed?