Local authorities say the vegetation-covered mountain is not suitable for building homes and is prone to landslides.
Eight people have been rescued and at least 15 are missing after a major landslide in Peru, the government said, and efforts are ongoing in the search for more survivors.
Between 60 and 80 homes were buried Parcoy in the La Libertad region in northern Peru, local authorities said on Wednesday. Defence Minister Jose Luis Gavidia, who had arrived in the area a day before, said eight people were rescued unharmed from the rubble after the Tuesday landslide.
“There are approximately 15 to 20 people who are missing,” Gavidia said in a ministry statement.
There were no reports Tuesday of casualties in Parcoy, in the province of Pataz. The town’s Mayor Luis Velezmoro told state television that neighbours were trying to rescue trapped people by breaking down the walls of several houses.
The development comes amid intense political and environmental challenges in the Andean nation. On Monday, Peru’s congress voted in favour of initiating impeachment proceedings against President Pedro Castillo over allegations of corruption. And in January, a major oil spill on the nation’s Pacific coast wreaked havoc on the lives and livelihoods of thousands of small-scale fishermen.
The National Institute of Civil Defense said the landslide was the result of heavy rains. According to local authorities in the area – where mineworkers generally live – the vegetation-covered mountain is not suitable for building homes.
President Castillo tweeted that his government will help affected families.
“We will support the affected families and coordinate various actions with the local authorities,” he said.
In another tweet, he said he would be visiting the area Wednesday to inspect the damage.
Images circulating on social media on Tuesday showed homes being covered by mud and rocks as neighbours watched in horror.