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Peru declares emergency over cold weather

Peru has experienced a torrid year, which has negatively impacted on travel to the country and highlights the need for effective preparation for independent travel.

The current extreme cold spell has been devastating for local people up and down the country; 65% of the country has declared a state of emergency, in order to free up much needed emergency funding.

The extreme temperatures in the south of the country which have reached -24C are proportionately just as severe as the lows of 9C which have been experienced in the normally hot and humid Amazon region. The people who live in both these areas will experience similar consequences to these relative temperatures; with people living in the south being used to below zero temperatures, but not -24C and those from the Amazon basin being used to 20C - 30C but not single digits.

Travellers need to prepare effectively for the variance in temperatures which can be experienced across the country normally and these extremes, which in Peru, seem to be more and more frequent occurrences.

Due to its long coastline and reliance on the effect of the offshore currents for its climate, Peru is more susceptible to the effects of global warming than most. The country is still recovering from the devastating floods which closed its most popular tourist attraction earlier this year; Machu Picchu only re-opened in April.

To add to these ‘climate’ problems, Peru is also still suffering after the a devastating 2007 earthquake.

However travel to Peru should not be discounted, the country has too much to offer for that.

Effective planning is the key to safe independent travel and a significant part of this planning should involve understanding the conditions at your destination(s). This will help you to decide the best time of year to travel and the type of equipment you might require.

Your equipment choices need to be versatile, it is simply not possible to take more than one set of equipment, yet travellers to Peru will need to prepare for both extreme heat and extreme cold…. The key is to make sure your equipment is multi-purpose and works well when combined to meet all your requirements.

If you are going to visit southern Peru at this time of year (the southern hemisphere winter), you need to expect and prepare for cold in any year. This year your preparation needs to be even more effective, otherwise you could find yourself with inappropriate equipment in extreme cold.

 

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Source – www.bbc.co.uk 

Date – 24th July 2010

Submitted by – Peter Mayhew