Weather station installed at Palcacocha, seven lake guards unpaid for months

I n order to constantly monitor the behavior of climate and the variation of the water mirror at Laguna Palcacocha, the National Institute for Research in Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems (INAIGEM), the Centre for Environmental Research for Development (CIAD) of the National University Santiago Antunez de Mayolo (UNASAM) and the Natural Resources Management of the Regional Government of Áncash installed an automatic portable weather station.

The automatic and portable weather station at Palcacocha is able to register the monitoring and reporting of temperature, humidity, wind, rain and radiation during 24 hours a day and 365 days of the year. This information will be useful to know for example the evolution of the climate and its relation with the variation of the levels of the water mirror of the lagoon and will be communicated in an accurate manner to the regional government of Ancash, local governments and population in general. Last year in September, a weather station was installed on the Artesonraju Glacier, at 4,900 metres above sea-level.

Palcacocha form a latent threat to the Huaraz population and still doesn’t count with an Early Warning System. This is the reason that some humble villagers of the Palcacocha area are daily monitoring the lake at their own risk as a possible flood from the Palcacocha lagoon could cause the destruction of a large percentage of the urban area in Huaraz. Seven of these observers braving wind and rain 24-hours a day are not receiving any financial reward for it, so we were informed. They did however receive on behalf of district mayor Eloy Alzamora Morales and Congresswoman Maria Elena Foronda Farro new jackets, ponchos and blankets to make their job a bit easier.

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