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Shocking Images Reveal The Devastating Toll Of Peru's Floods

75 people have been killed and tens of thousands are homeless.

22/03/2017 8:13 AM AEDT | Updated 22/03/2017 10:36 AM AEDT
Guadalupe Pardo / Reuters
Two men help a woman cross a flooded street after a river overflowed, sending torrents of mud and water rushing through the streets in Huachipa last Friday.

Peru's worst flood in 20 years has caused death and destruction across the country, even in areas not normally affected by floods.

The current death toll stands at 75 people, with a further 20 missing and 263 injured, according to the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC).

Around 2,000 kilometres of roadways have also been destroyed and railways extensively damaged, hampering rescue and recovery efforts.

And the crisis is far from over.

Douglas Juarez/Reuters
Residents link arms as they attempt to cross the Viru river after a bridge collapsed following a massive landslide in Trujillo.

Water temperatures are as much as 4 or 5 degrees Celsius higher than average along Peru's coastline, a weather event typically associated with an El Nino. While an El Nino typically spells dry weather for Australia, the warm currents bring rain to South America.

This means that Peru can expect even more rain throughout April, until the dry season brings relief in May.

Peru's government said 374 people were killed in 1998 during similarly massive rains and flooding caused by rain blamed on the El Nino climate pattern, according to ABC News.

Peru's steep mountain ranges and rocky, sandy terrain combined with weeks of rain following a drought have created the perfect conditions for deadly mudslides -- known locally as huaycos.

Almost 100,000 Peruvians are now homeless as a result of the floods and landslides, the National Emergency Operations Center reports, while hundreds of thousands more have experienced damage to homes and property.

Dramatic footage and images show people being pulled from the mud and cars being washed away.

Lima, Peru's capital city of 8.5 million people, normally escapes the deluge that the wet season brings. But even the normally arid city has been affected as swollen rivers upstream bring flooding and landslides to the nation's capital. Photos show people using ziplines to cross streets that have turned into rivers as other salvage what they can and move to higher ground.

With electricity and phone lines being cut off in many parts of the country, the full extent of the damage is not yet known.

Guadalupe Pardo / Reuters
A woman and a child are evacuated by zip line after the Huaycoloro river flooded, sending torrents of mud and water rushing through the streets of Lima.
Mariana Bazo / Reuters
People attempt to cross the flooded Rimac River.
Mariana Bazo / Reuters
A dog stands in the debris of a destroyed home in Lima.

Guadalupe Pardo / Reuters
Stranded residents are ziplined to safety after climbing onto a roof to escape flooding in Huachipa, Peru. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

LightRocket via Getty Images
A mudslide destroyed homes in the town of Chosica, east of Lima. Almost 100,000 people have been made homeless since the flooding began in January.

Guadalupe Pardo/Reuters
A truck wheel-deep in mud on the Central highway.

Guadalupe Pardo / Reuters
Police officers and residents salvage their belongings and head to safety after a massive landslide destroyed homes in the Huachipa district of Lima.

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