Death toll in Peru climbs to 65 from El Nino rains and floods

The number of people killed in Peru following intense rains and mudslides wreaking havoc around the Andean nation has climbed to 65.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said Peru's coastal region has not seen such environmental calamity since 1998.

A group of people, stranded in flood waters, hold onto a rope as they wade through flood waters to safety in Lima, Peru, Friday, March 17, 2017.

Across the country, overflowing rivers have damaged 115,000 homes, collapsed 117 bridges and left people trapped on roofs waiting for rescue.

Mr Kuczynski announced on Friday he was declaring Peru's Central Highway in a state of emergency and boosting funds for reconstruction.

The highly unusual rains are being caused by El Nino, which generates a warming surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and are expected to continue for another two weeks.

- AP

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