(Reuters) – A landslide triggered by strong rains in Peru killed at least 40 people in the country’s southern Arequipa region, national emergency services said on Monday.
Officials said another five people are missing after the landslide struck near the town of Secocha, located in Camana province, following last week’s heavy rainfall in the area.
Local media have reported higher death tolls, figures Reuters was not immediately able to confirm.
Peru’s national emergency center COEN said search and rescue efforts are ongoing.
The defense ministry said on Twitter it is assisting in the efforts by providing helicopters, tents, water tanks, sandbags and disaster relief personnel.
The deadly landslide follows nearly two months of anti-government protests in the South American country, largely centered in Peru’s Andean south, after the Dec. 7 removal of former President Pedro Castillo.
The protests have left dozens dead while injuring hundreds.