Peru Earthquake Flash Appeal 2007
A powerful earthquake off the Peruvian coast, with a magnitude of 7.9 degrees on the Richter scale, struck Peru in the early evening of 15 August 2007. The Department of Ica was heavily affected, with the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks on 16 August totally devastating homes, hospitals, schools, churches, government buildings and infrastructure in the city of Pisco (population 63,000, 51km from the epicentre), and seriously affecting the cities of Chincha Alta (161,000 persons, 42km), Ica (261,000 persons, 110km). The city of Cañete in the Department of Lima (26,000 persons, 32km) also incurred damage.
Hospitals were overwhelmed with injured, mainly in Chincha Alta and Pisco, where the earthquake struck hardest. As of the publication of this appeal, the official death toll stands at 514, with 1,090 injured, and around 40,035 familiesrendered homeless. A further 30,542 families have been affected. These numbers are likely to increase as many areas remain inaccessible and have not yet been assessed. There is widespread damage to infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and to power and water utilities. Food supplies have been disrupted.
The Peruvian Government declared a state of emergency across the affected regions, and officially requested international support. The Government’s response is being led by the National Institute of Civil Defence (INDECI), and involves several ministerial sectors (Health, Housing and Sanitation, Women and Social Development, Interior, Defence, Education, etc.), the armed forces, and volunteer organisations. As a result of these operations, large numbers of survivors have been rescued.
The Government has accepted the deployment of a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team to the disaster area. The Government’s actions have been coupled with, and supported by, the relief efforts of the international community and aid organisations. The UN Resident Coordinator has activated the Emergency Operations Centre on a 24-hour basis and is regularly convening a rolling meeting of the UN Disaster Management Team, which is coordinating the numerous requests for help that UN Agencies are receiving independently.
Initial international effort has been focused on improving logistics and increasing the provision of aid, as well as the facilitation of medical assistance and evacuation, and the provision of water, food, tents and blankets to around 200,000 people who have been directly affected by the earthquake. Logistics resources are paramount to ensuring delivery of relief items, and to establishing and managing camps for the homeless. In order to improve their capacities, the OCHA regional office in Panama has added their coordination support not only to the UN System, but also to the local authorities.
In close coordination with the Government of Peru, and based on reports and assessments from official sources, the UN System, the UNDAC team and other non-UN partners, the Flash Appeal requires US$ 36,962,939 for six months (including approximately $9.6 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund [CERF] which has already been allocated.) In-kind logistical contributions (air support, trucks, etc) put at the disposal of the UN operation will be counted against the appeal, reducing the unmet cash requirements accordingly.