updated 4/16/2009 3:19:08 PM ET 2009-04-16T19:19:08

A mudslide buried 25 homes in two towns in the northern highlands on Thursday, with as many as 30 people feared dead or missing, Peru's civil defense official says.

The mudslide hit the La Libertad province towns of Chamanacucho and Aricapampa, burying the homes early Thursday morning, said Walter Tapia, a coordinator for Civil Defense special operations.

The region has been battered by heavy rains. Lima's RPP radio reported that Civil Defense and Health Ministry officials were traveling to the region to help in emergency response.

Check back for more details on this developing story.

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