While the number of casualties is still unknown, dozens of people are believed to be dead after a landslide buried multiple homes. The disaster occurred around 8.30 a.m. local time and was believed to be the result of heavy rain in Peru’s La Libertad region.
Local news outlets shared footage of the disaster, which shows the ground collapsing from a nearby cliff and residents desperately attempting to free people trapped inside.
According to Manuel Llempen, regional governor of La Libertad, approximately 60 to 80 houses have been buried with people inside due to a landslide in Pataz.
The Regional Government of La Libertad issued a statement saying: “Faced with the landslide of a hillside in the upper part of the town of Retamas which occurred this morning and buried homes…”
“The regional governor and president of the Regional Emergency Platform called an emergency meeting to adopt urgent accidents to help the affected population.”
“The magnitude of the damage is still unknown, but the governor has already contacted the president of the Council of Ministers, Aníbal Torres, to activate the necessary actions,” it further announced.
Many people were feared trapped as large sections of the hillside crumbled to the town beneath it.
Jose Gavidia from Peru’s ministry of defence tweeted: “Together with a rapid response team we headed to the town of Retamas, district of Parcoy (La Libertad) in an emergency to attend to the emergency caused by a landslide on a hillside.
“We will provide all the necessary help to the affected families.”
Videos posted to social media showed a large part of the hillside suddenly giving way. Tons of rocks, trees and mud rushed down the side of the hill onto the town below. A clip posted to Twitter by user @AdrianzenJuanjo showed rescuers attempting to break down a wall in order to free people stuck inside a building.
Peru’s President Pedro Castillo stated that the government would assist those trapped in the region.
“We will support the affected families and coordinate various actions with the local authorities.”
Search and rescue teams have now been deployed to the area.
Source: Daily Express