At least 15 dead and 20 injured in landslides in Peru

Already mired in a political crisis that has killed at least 48 people in two months, Peru must also face dramatic natural disasters. A series of landslides in the southern region of Arequipa killed at least 15 people on Monday, 20 injured and two missing, according to an initial report from the authorities.

According to the National Institute of Civil Defense in Arequipa, the first landslides of mud and rocks occurred on Sunday due to torrential rains. The most affected area is the district of Nicolas Valcarcel, in the province of Camaná, west of Arequipa.

Some 12,000 people affected

Four localities in the district and the neighboring region of Rio Grande were particularly affected. “The situation in these four villages is very unfavorable (…) both in Rio Grande and in Nicolas Valcarcel,” regional governor Rohel Sanchez told local television Canal N.

He explained that there is a lot of mining activity in the hills surrounding these villages. “We probably have people (and workers) there who couldn’t get out and were swept away by the mudslides,” Rohel Sanchez added. The total number of victims in Arequipa is currently some 12,000 people, according to the same source.

The landslides in Nicolas Valcarcel damaged 310 houses and destroyed 10 others, and also affected a health center and three rural roads, civil defense said. Authorities in Arequipa have asked the central government in Lima to declare a state of emergency for natural disasters in the region.

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