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Page last updated at 02:55 GMT, Saturday, 3 April 2010 03:55 UK

Peru village mudslide 'kills 20'

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Officials say at least 120 homes were damaged or destroyed

At least 20 people have been killed in central Peru after heavy rains sparked a mudslide that engulfed a small village, officials have said.

The mudslide struck the village in the Huanuco region. At least another 25 people are reportedly missing.

At least 120 homes had been damaged or destroyed, the officials added.

Civil defence chief Hipolito Cruchaga said emergency teams were at the scene, and that aid was being provided to those who had been made homeless.

The deadly mudslide was the second in as many days in Peru. On Thursday, five people were killed in the town of Cancejos.

Overflowing lake

Mr Cruchaga said 50 people had also been injured in the latest mudslide.

Map

The BBC's Dan Collyns in Lima says days of heavy rains caused a small lake higher up a nearby mountain to overflow into a ravine.

The AFP news agency quoted reports from the village as saying hundreds of people might still be missing.

Mr Cruchaga said tents, blankets and food supplies had begun arriving in Huanuco for those hit by the latest mudslide.

In the past few months the Peruvian Andes have experienced one of the heaviest rainy seasons in decades, our correspondent says.

Some meteorologists say it is due to the cyclical El Nino weather pattern, while others attribute the downpours to climate change.



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