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Peru Floods: Woman Climbs Out of Rushing Floodwaters to Safety

by Kalhan Rosenblatt and The Associated Press /  / Updated 
Image: A video shows the moment a woman emerged from floodwaters just outside Lima, Peru
A video shows the moment Evangelina Chamorro D?az, 32, emerged from floodwaters just outside Lima, Peru, and walked to safety.Christian Jesus Hidalgo

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It was almost impossible to see Evangelina Chamorro Díaz emerging from the avalanche of mud and debris just outside Lima, Peru.

As torrents of floodwaters cascaded behind her, the 32-year-old — covered from head to toe in slick, beige mud — was nearly camouflaged as she carefully stepped over pieces of wood and waste toward dry land.

But at least one person spotted her, pointing and shouting: "A person!"

This dramatic moment, captured in a 33-second video on Wednesday, highlights the extent of the dangerous flooding ravaging the country.

Unusually heavy rains have killed at least a dozen people in Peru's latest round of flooding and the muddy waters have begun rushing into homes and streets. Officials say 62 people and 12,000 homes have been destroyed by rains since the beginning of 2017.

The onslaught of heavy rain has caused mudslides, like the one Díaz pulled herself from, in the desert capital city of Lima, where 10 million people live.

Image: View of a damaged cemetary after rainfall and flood in Trujillo, northern Peru
View of a damaged cemetery after rainfall and flood in Trujillo, northern Peru.Reuters

Before being swept up in the floodwater, Díaz dropped her daughters off at school. She and her husband, Armando Rivera, then went to feed their pigs, when a landslide swept them away.

Rivera told RPP radio they climbed a tree but the trunk broke. They held on to each other's hands but Chamorro eventually lost his grip and got separated.

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They both managed to escape with only minor injuries.

The rains, brought on by El Niño, are expected to continue for another two weeks, authorities said on Thursday. El Niño is the warming of the ocean surface.

Image: A man walks at his flooded home damaged after heavy rain in Castilla district of  Piura
A man walks at his flooded home damaged after heavy rain in Castilla district of Piura, northern Peru, March 16, 2017.MARIANA BAZO / Reuters

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said late Wednesday that authorities are prepared to provide shelter and relief to those left homeless.

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