March 21, 2017 Peru declared a state of emergency as rains fell upon many cities along the coast of Peru. The rains which flooded the cities also carried with them, mudslides. The coast of Peru is a desert climate and so the surrounding watersheds consist mostly of dry clay, dirt and mud. In ancient times, the Chimu people, precursor to the Incas, lived in the delta region of the Moche River. There they were able to settle as an agrarian society cultivating water from the river. While the river sustained the civilization, the Moche people were subsequently subject to its harsh climate conditions such as extreme draught and flooding. Today, the rains still pose a threat to the people who live in the region. Trujillo sits just a few kilometers from the Capital, Huaca del Sol y la Luna – and later Chan Chan developed by the Chimu.
Las Lluvias de Trujillo no pararon un día,
Hasta que se habia inundado, y se desperdicia
La ciudad de la eterna primavera
Y la bailarina de la Marinera.
Las Aguas que subieron y bailaban por pasajes,
parques y calles en corrientes fuertes.
Pisaron con ritmo, con fuerzas del cielo
Hasta el colapso de las avenidas con huecos y polvo
La gente abandonada para construir de nuevo.
Y las fantasmas del Chan Chan desde sus adobes reían
Los Caballitos de Totora fueron lo único que sobrevivieron.
The rains of Trujillo did not stop one day,
Until the city flooded, and so disapeared
the city of Eternal Spring,
and dance of the Marianera
The waters rose and danced along passages
and parks and streets by way of strong currents
They stomped out rhythm with a strength from heaven
Until the collapse of avenues, with holes and dust
The people were left to reconstruct
And the ghosts of Chan Chan from their Adobe huts laughed
Their boats – Caballito de Totora – were the only that survived