Peru

More rain forecast as Peru struggles with catastrophic floods

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As Peruvians struggled on Sunday to cope with avalanches, mudslides and extensive flash flooding caused by torrential rainfall as forecasters predicted still more rain ahead, prolonging the country’s woes.

The death toll remained at 75, authorities said, but devastating damage reports continued to pour in.

Prime Minister Fernando Zavala said 72,115 Peruvians had lost everything, while 567,551 had suffered less serious damages. He predicted days of more rain ahead.

On Saturday, flood waters swept into the very center of Trujillo, the country’s third-largest city, filling its streets and forcing residents braving the waters to cling to each other to avoid being swept away.

The “huaycos,” as Peruvians refer to the powerful avalanches of mud and stone that pour down from steep Andean hillsides after heavy rain, continued their damaging ways.

Mountains of mud wended through city streets, sweeping away everything in their paths: houses, furniture and sometimes people.

Agents of the Peruvian National Police rescue people trapped in buildings due to the flooding of the Rimac and Huaycoloro rivers, in Lima, Peru, 17 March 2017.
Agents of the Peruvian National Police rescue people trapped in buildings due to the flooding of the Rimac and Huaycoloro rivers, in Lima, Peru, 17 March 2017.

Air travel has been affected as well.

“I’ve been stranded in Trujillo for five days. My family lives in a part of Lima affected by the huaycos, but I haven’t been able to get through to them,” would-be passenger Ernesto Alvarez told RPP radio.

“Some 500 of us are stranded here, unable to travel. We just hope…

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