Powerful Cyclone Yaku has unleashed torrents of rain on Peru’s northern region in recent days, burying homes and cars in mud and leading to the deaths of at least six people.
In the northern coastal towns of Trujillo and Lambayeque, residents waded through knee-high water and cars crawled through inundated streets. Brown water cascaded down pedestrian steps.
“My house was filled with water up to the waist,” an unidentified woman from Trujillo emotionally told reporters.
“It reached us, we have lost everything, I lost everything. I don’t even have anywhere to sleep, where to sit.”
The cyclone is the latest crisis hitting Peru, where anti-government protests have rocked the country since Congress removed former President Pedro Castillo from power in December.
The government of President Dina Boluarte declared a state of emergency in 400 districts as it seeks to bring relief from the effects of the cyclone. Nearly 60 people have died since the start of the rainy season, according to the National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI).
Boluarte visited parts of northern Peru on Saturday as the government delivered humanitarian aid to areas badly hit by the cyclone.
“It is sad and painful. Families are trapped in the mud, rice crops are flooded, and you can’t even see the river’s course; it’s lost,” Boluarte said. “This can’t continue.”