Latin America & Caribbean

Peru 'will not host' 2016 Dakar Rally due to El Nino

Racers participate in the 2014 Dakar Rally 06 January 2014 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Dakar Rally is widely viewed as one of the world's toughest races

Peru says it will not host the 2016 Dakar Rally due to concerns about the El Nino weather phenomenon.

Organisers say Peru believes El Nino will be particularly violent there and it wishes to have all emergency services available to respond to it.

The rally, billed as the world's toughest race, was due to begin in the Peruvian capital on 3 January. It will now be held in Argentina and Bolivia.

Forecasters say El Nino could become a "substantial" event later in the year.

The Dakar Rally was moved to South America after the former route - from Paris to Dakar - was abandoned because of threats to the competitors from armed groups in North Africa.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Peru has previously hosted the Dakar Rally

It has been staged in South America since 2009.

Peru has previously hosted race stages in 2012 and 2013.

The full route for the rally will be announced in September.

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Media captionMeteorologist Matt Taylor explains what El Nino is

What is El Nino?

An El Nino comes along about every two to seven years as part of a natural cycle.

It is caused by warmer than usual water in parts of the Pacific Ocean, between South America and Australia, and creates unusually hot and stormy weather.

Warm air from the west blows into the pacific ocean and heats it up just below the surface.

This warmer water can then lead to certain weather patterns becoming more likely.

It is likely that this will cause Peru to get much heavier rainfalls between January and May.

El Nino could 'disrupt food markets'

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