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13 dead in Peru landslide

by Staff Writers
Lima (AFP) April 13, 2009
At least 13 people, including one child, were killed in a landslide in a village in northern Peru during heavy rain, local authorities said Monday.

Several homes were buried in mud after a landslide early Sunday in Retamas, in La Libertad region some 500 kilometers (311 miles) north of Lima.

"Thirteen people died and rescue teams continue to assess the homes that were damaged," said the region's president, Jose Murgia, stressing that the heavy rains had hampered rescue operations.

National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI) operations director Walter Tapia earlier put the initial toll at nine dead. Tapia told AFP that massive amounts of mud and rocks had buried homes in Retamas.

Policemen and locals were participating in rescue operations, while civil defense teams were attending to people affected by the landslides who had to evacuate their homes.

Mudslides are common in Peru during heavy rains. Between October 2007 and March 2008, at least 29 people were killed and six went missing due to heavy rain and overflowing rivers, according to INDECI.

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