Rescuers find five more bodies following mudslide in Peru’s north-central Andes

Rescue workers have recovered five more bodies in the Huallaga river on Monday in Peru’s north-central Huánuco department, where torrential rain caused a mudslide last week that destroyed the district of Ambo.

According to RPP radio station, 32 bodies have been recovered from Ambo since the landslide, while newspaper El Comercio reported that 45 people are still missing and 145 families have been left homeless.

Meanwhile, Peruvian authorities continue to relocate residents of Ambo to safer areas.

“There are families that after the mudslide on Thursday were just affected, but their homes were located on the banks of the Huallaga river, which is a risky situation,” daily Peru.21 reported Medalith Sotil of the Civil Defense in Huánuco as saying.

“Eight families that lived in dangerous areas were evacuated to a technological institute. The Civil Defense is providing support with tents and food.”

“Many people have told me that they would like to stay in the area, and that is materially impossible,” added cabinet chief Javier Velásquez. “I have told them that we wouldn’t put even one brick down in this area.”

The mudslide in Ambo followed another one in the community of Cancejos. At least five people died in that landslide, which also blocked the highway between the cities of Huánuco and Tingo Maria.

Torrential rains have caused widespread damage in Peru’s Ande’s this year. In January, heavy rainfalls flooded the Vilcanota river in the Cuzco region washing away the train tracks into the sacred Inca citadel Machu Picchu.

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