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Steady rains set off mudslides that kill at least 36 in Peru

Landslides triggered by steady rains swept mud, water and rocks into several villages in southern Peru, killing at least 36 people, authorities said Monday.

Wilson Gutierrez, a civil defense official in the Mariano Nicolás Valcárcel municipality in Camana province, told local radio RPP that 36 bodies had been recovered in a remote sector called Miski.

Among the dead were five people who were riding in a van that was pushed into a river by a surge of mud.

Local officials appealed for heavy machinery to be sent in to clear debris blocking three kilometers (nearly two miles) of an important road.

Civil defense officials said an estimated 630 homes were unusable after the landslides, which also hit bridges, irrigation canals and roads.

Constant rains are frequent in February in Peru and often cause deadly landslides.

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