Printed on Wed Aug 10 2022 5:25:49 PM

Landslide in northern Peru buried at least 60 homes

Staff Correspondent
landslide in peru
A landslide on Tuesday in the northern Peruvian town of Retamas has buried dozens of homes and trapped at least 15 people, according to authorities.

Manuel Llempen, the governor of the La Libertad region where Retamas is located, told RPP radio that “the landslide has buried, according to the preliminary report, approximately 60 to 80 houses.”

“They are completely buried,” he added.

"We have assessed somewhere in the range of 15 and 20 individuals who are as yet missing," Defense Minister Jose Gavidia said on a visit to the town on Tuesday night, approximately 12 hours after the breakdown of the slope.

The landslide occurred around 8:30 am local time (13:30 GMT), according to Peru’s National Emergency Operations Center (COEN).

Retamas sits high in the Andes, at around 800 meters (9,000 ft).

The town's police official, Lieutenant Carlos Alberto Valderrama, let AFP know that the police and local groups of firefighters were proceeding with their rescue operation.

“We have managed to rescue four people, among them a Venezuelan citizen who was trapped in a market. So far we have found no fatalities,” Valderrama said.

“The area is blocked off. There are cracks in the hill — we have been warned that there could be another landslide.”

'Left us with nothing'
Retamas, a mining town, is a 16-hour drive from the territorial capital of Trujillo on the Pacific coast.

"I had the options to get out on schedule but my house was buried. The landslide left us with nothing,” Ledy Leiva, who escaped with five other members of her family, told RPP radio.

Several people buried in the mud and rock were rescued by neighbors who drilled through their roofs and walls, local media reported.

“There are many people trapped… inside their houses,” Governor Llempen said.

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo said he would visit the stricken town and guarantee government support for impacted families.

“I am heading to Pataz province [where Retamas is located] to see the area affected by the landslide that occurred this morning,” the president tweeted after delivering a speech to Congress.

Earlier in the day, Castillo ordered the defense minister and a team from the INDECI (Peruvian Civil Defense) to the landslide site.
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