Peru declares emergency in 14 regions on El Nino worries

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru has declared a 60-day state of emergency in towns in 14 regions to brace for possible damage from the climate pattern El Nino in the rainy season, state media reported Sunday. Peru has forecast a "moderate to strong" El Nino in the winter season and has not ruled out an extraordinary event in the summer, which begins in December in the southern hemisphere. The phenomenon, a warming of Pacific sea-surface temperatures, has wreaked havoc on local fishing in Peru and triggered landslides in years past. The emergency declaration orders authorities to take action to prepare for the "imminent danger" of El Nino and unusual climate conditions, state news agency Andina said. The regions placed under the state of emergency include several key fishing and mining areas. Unusually warm waters linked to El Nino led catches of cold-water anchovy to plummet last year, helping drag down economic growth to the weakest pace in five years. Peru is the world's top producer of fishmeal - animal feed made of ground-up anchovy - and a major exporter of copper, gold and silver. (Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)