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Landslides bury 5 villages in Peru

Five villages in southern Peru were left in rubble after landslides caused by constant rains on Sunday and Monday, which washed away mud, water and rocks and swept away precarious facilities and homes in an area dedicated to informal gold mining.

At least 40 people died and a dozen were injured as a result of the landslides that occurred in several localities in the province of Camaná, Arequipa region, in southern Peru.

Wilson Gutiérrez, Civil Defense official of the Mariano Nicolás Valcárcel municipality, confirmed to RPP radio station that some 200 prefabricated houses were swept away by the landslide in Secocha, one of the main towns affected.

Mauro Noa, leader of the Posco Miski village, who was asking for help and food to assist more than a thousand residents trapped since Sunday on the side of a mountain. They cannot cross because an immense body of mud and stones has formed in the form of a river that surrounds the hill. "They are hungry and thirsty, nobody remembers them," he told The Associated Press.

Noa said that in 18 years he has never seen an avalanche like the one that fell Sunday in Posco Miski. He added that they have compiled a list of 14 residents of Posco Miski whose whereabouts are unknown. "People reacted in disarray, neighbors who could not leave their homes were carried away by the wave of mud," Noa said. "The children have been traumatized, with the rain and the mudslide," he added.

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