LIMA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The reconstruction for areas affected by the El Nino-led floods and landslides in Peru is expected to cost between 12-15 billion U.S. dollars, Peru's Minister of Defense Jorge Nieto announced Tuesday.
Speaking to Radio Programas del Peru (RPP), Nieto added that the bill would not simply cover repairs but was also contemplating as yet unforeseen works and to boost defenses against future risks.
However, the Defense Minister's figures contrast sharply with those provided by the Minister of Economy and the Central Bank who estimate the cost at three to four billion U.S. dollars, while the private consultancy, Maximixe, set a price tag of around 7 billion U.S. dollars.
Alongside this, the Ministry of Transports and Communications is developing the country's reconstruction plan, which will cover all damages and investments needed for repairs.
El Nino appeared on Peru's coast in December. It began weakly but steadily grew through February and March, raising the Pacific Ocean's surface temperatures 29 degrees Celsius, seven degrees above the seasonal average. It triggered torrential rains and floods in 11 regions of Peru, especially in the northwest.
El Nino is set to remain a threat, albeit with less intensity, off the Peruvian coast until late April or early May.