Thousands left homeless after rains, flooding ravage Peru

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  March 17, 2017 at 9:33 AM
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March 17 (UPI) -- More than 60 people have been killed in Peru in flooding caused by heavy seasonal rains.

Peru's National Institute of Civil Defense reported on Wednesday that at least 62 people have been killed and 170 injured and that another 72,115 people have been left homeless. In addition, 12 people are missing, 9,018 homes have collapsed and 8,257 homes have been left uninhabitable since the start of seasonal rains in December.

"This emergency will pass, but we must be prudent. Do not take unnecessary risks such as crossing flooded roads or weak bridges," Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said in a statement on Wednesday. "We continue to monitor this emergency. My ministers are deployed at the national level to address the affected areas."

Kuczynski declared a state of emergency in affected regions due to the flooding that has worsened in the past week as rivers overflowed and bridges have collapsed. He said the overflows and floods are "many" but are "surpassable."

"The message is security and serenity: security; not approaching the rivers in any way, neither by bus nor on foot; and serenity; because all this is going to happen and the government is firmly managing the rudder," Kuczynski said Wednesday while visiting Lima's San Juan de Lurigancho district.

A woman this week freed herself from a mudslide south of downtown Lima -- an incident captured on video.

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