Up to 70 killed from flooding and mudslides in Peru

Tens of thousands have been left homeless

Up to 70 killed from flooding and mudslides in Peru

A woman is pulled to safety in a zip line harness in Lima, Peru | Image: PA Images

A state of emergency has been declared in Peru after floods and mudslides have killed almost 70 people.

El Nino-fueled flash floods and landslides hit parts of Lima, leaving some communities cut off from roads on Saturday.

Tens of thousands have been left homeless due to the flooding. 

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said in a statement on Friday that "We are confronting a serious climatic problem," before adding that "There hasn't been an incident of this strength along the coast of Peru since 1998."

Rescuers have been forced to mount operations to evacuate entire towns. They have even built ziplines to safely evacuate those that are isolated because of the flooding. 

Peru's rainy season has seen 10 times more rainfall than usual. 

The storms are being caused by a warms of the surface waters in the Pacific Ocean and are expected to continue for another two weeks.

Schools nationwide are suspending classes and in Lima the swelling Huaycoloro river swept away two trucks and threatens to destroy a bridge.

President Kuczynski said on Wednesday that authorities were prepared to provide shelter and relief to those left homeless.