At least twenty dead after mudslides in Peru

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Location of the Huanoco region within Peru

According to local authorities, at least twenty people in Peru were killed by mudslides in a village in the northeastern part of the country on Friday.

The incident occurred in the Ambo village, in the region of Huanuco. "As of 12:00 pm [17.00 GMT] [...] the death toll stands at twenty people," commented Hipolito Cruchaga, the Civil Defense chief of the region, to media.

Cruchaga reported that fifty people were hurt by the mudslide, and put the number of missing persons at 25. However, other reports said as many as several hundred people were missing.

According to local media, some dead bodies had been found and taken from the Huallaga River; other corpses were dug out of the mud.

Jorge Espinoza, a senior official for Huanuco, remarked: "An entire village, some 400 people, has completely vanished. Some will be saved, but it appears the majority were buried."

Authorities say the mudslide started when torrential rains caused a small lake on a mountain to overflow, spilling water into a ravine.