ABSTRACT

In 1941, disaster hit the city of Huaraz in Peru's Cordillera Blanca. One day in December, a gigantic piece of ice became dislodged from the glacier that feeds Lake Palcacocha and fell into the very same lake. The disaster ignited a series of initiatives, putting Peru in the forefront of glacial lake management. The event reminded the inhabitants of the valley of their vulnerability when it comes to the danger of the bursting bodies of water. In some areas, disaster management plans and funding for securing important infrastructure are in place. The bursting bodies of water that threaten to take away lives and livelihoods in mountainous areas across the world are a growing concern for politicians, policy-makers and people just trying to make do in their everyday lives. Huaraz, twice destroyed by natural hazards in the twentieth century, continues to grow as people from the countryside seek to improve their all too often meagre and impoverished situation.