Evangelina Chamorro was swept away for over a third of a mile by an avalanche of mud on the coast south of Lima. But she survived and said that thinking about “God and her daughters” gave her the strength.
In recent weeks, heavy rains have caused avalanches and floods in various parts of the country. Official reports note 70 dead and 70,000 victims throughout the country.
Evangelina, 32, was swept away from the Peruvian forest by a mudslide that reached the Punta Hermosa resort area about 25 miles south of the Peruvian capital.
She lived with her husband and daughters in a small house in a forested area near the resort. Evangelina and her husband were swept away by the mudslide when they both left their house to feed their animals in their nearby corral.
In a statement quoted in La Republica newspaper, Evangelina's husband, Armando Rivera, said that “we went out to feed the animals when in the distance we heard a loud noise. I thought two trucks had crashed into each other on the highway.”
“We managed to grab onto the trunk of a eucalyptus tree, but the force of the avalanche made us lose our grip. I saw the mud carrying away my wife. I didn't think I would find her alive. God is great, it's a miracle she's alive!” he said after being discharged from the hospital.
Evangelina is still hospitalized but making a remarkable recovery. Her body was struck by lumber, nails and other debris swept away by the mudslide.
She said that while she was swept away by the avalanche, “I thought of giving up, but the whole time I was asking God to give me the strength to keep on fighting.”
The Church in Peru is continuing to mobilize to help the thousands of people affected by the rains and floods which since January have been hitting different parts of the country especially the northern coast and part of the capital.
Since Jan. 14, rains caused by the El Nino Effect have made rivers overflow and avalanches of rocks and mud, affecting a number of areas.
So far the climactic phenomenon – which will continue the next few weeks – has caused the deaths of 62 people, 11 missing and 170 injured.
According the the report from the Center for National Emergency Operations, there are 552,866 people affected on the national level; 62,642 victims, 115,748 damaged homes, of which 7,974 have collapsed and 7,925 are uninhabitable.
In response, the various dioceses along with local Caritas organizations have launched solidarity and prayer campaigns on behalf of the victims.
Cardinal Juan Cipriani, Archbishop and Primate of Peru, announced the definitive cancellation of the 2017 March for Life in order to concentrate efforts on helping the victims of the natural disasters the country is suffering from.
Pope Francis expressed his “closeness to the people of Peru hard hit by the devastating rains.”
“I am praying for the victims and those involved in relief work,” he said.