Dramatic video of devastating floods in Peru

By Reuters   March 18, 2017 | 05:38 pm PT
A bus passenger in Otuzco captures the moment when a rush of water comes raging down close to the vehicle.

Striking images continue to come out of Peru, with buses stuck in rivers, as a sudden and abnormal warming of Pacific waters off Peru has unleashed the deadliest downpours in decades.

There were scenes of landslides and raging rivers sweeping away people, clogging highways and destroying crops in a potential sign of a global El Nino pattern this year.

At least 62 people have died and more than 70,000 have become homeless as Peru's rainy season has delivered 10 times as much rainfall than usual, authorities said Friday.

About half of Peru has been declared in emergency to expedite resources to the hardest hit areas, mostly in the north where rainfall has broken records in several districts, said Prime Minister Fernando Zavala.

In Huachipa, located 25 km (15 miles) to the east of Lima, Reuters spoke to residents forced to try and get by in makeshift tents about their desperation.

Peru is bracing itself for another month of flooding.

In Peru, apocalyptic scenes recorded on cellphones and shared on social media have broadened the sense of chaos.

Bridges have collapsed as rivers have breached their banks, and cows and pigs have turned up on beaches after being carried away by rivers.

In Lima, the capital, classes have been suspended and running water has been restricted after treatment systems were clogged - prompting a rush on bottled water that produced shortages at some supermarkets.

The vast majority of people affected by the extreme weather are poor, including many who built makeshift homes on floodplains that had been dry for 20 years, said Chavez.

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