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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2007, 11:14 GMT
Mudslides leave 16 dead in Peru

Floods and mudslides in central Peru have left at least 16 people dead and scores homeless, the authorities say.

Some 20 people are reported missing in the San Ramon district, Junin province, where a state of emergency is in place.

On Monday, rivers burst their banks and mudslides buried villages after a weekend of torrential rains.

The search for survivors and bodies goes on, but officials say they are struggling to clear the mud and provide food and shelter for those affected.

Routes into the region were cut off, completely isolating some of the affected areas and hampering rescue and recovery efforts.

Many of the fatalities are reported to be children who were swept away by the landslides in the middle of the night.

A number of houses were completely destroyed by the mudslides, leaving about 150 families homeless. Many of them have been sifting through the mud to recover what is left of their possessions.

An estimated 4,000 people have been affected by the disaster.

Meteorologists have warned that more rain is expected in the coming days.

Aerial footage of damage caused by the mudslides

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