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Friday July 12, 2024

Torrential rains leave Peru village in mud

By AFP
February 13, 2023

AREQUIPA, Peru: Carmen Manchego looks down at the remnants of homes sticking out of the quagmire of mud that engulfed the Peruvian mining town of Pampaylima.”I have nothing left, nothing at all,” she moans.

Torrential rain late last week in Mariano Valcarel district of the southwestern Arequipa region provoked a mudslide on the San Martin mountain. Several communes were buried under mud and rocks, leaving 18 dead and around 20 others missing.

“My home is there,” Manchego, a home maker, tells AFP. “Everything was taken away by the water, it buried everything.”She is one of more than 4,300 people affected by the disaster. Some Pampaylima residents attempt to recover belongings that were spared the widespread destruction amongst the rubble from prefabricated homes demolished by the mud.

The ground floors of several two-storey houses have effectively disappeared from view.“My home is completely covered. We´ll have to see if we can save something, something valuable. Machines, more than anything,” said Eleuterio Condena, 55.

Like most of his neighbors, he works in a gold mine in this mountainous area, around 800-kilometers (500 miles) south of Peru´s capital Lima.The suspension of mining activity, coupled with the economic losses caused by the disaster, will have massive consequences on the locals.

Most Pampaylima residents come from neighboring regions such as Ica or Ayacucho and are only staying there temporarily for work.With families relying on their wages, they cannot afford to sit idle.