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Death toll rises to 72 in Peru rains, flooding, mudslides

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    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.

LIMA, Peru >> Peruvian authorities say the intense rains, overflowing rivers, mudslides and flooding being experienced in the country are the worst seen in in two decades, affecting more than half the nation as the death toll since the beginning of the year hits 72.

Prime Minister Fernando Zavala on Saturday updated the number of dead to 72 in comments to local radio station RPP.

The government says 374 people were killed in 1998 during a similar period of massive rains and flooding.

Lima has been without water service since the beginning of the week. The government has deployed the armed forces to help police control public order in the 811 cities that have declared an emergency.

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