Cyclone in Peru causes major flooding, at least six dead

Residents walk among devastated neigborhoods and homes of the semi rural district of Illimo in the Piura region in northern Peru, on March 11, 2023, after heavy rains caused by the presence of an "unorganized cyclone” named Yaku, off the Peruvian coast, in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, according to the authorities.

LIMA – At least six people have died in Peru over the last few days as a powerful cyclone unleashed torrential rains, battering hundreds of homes and causing major disruptions in northern areas of the Latin American country, authorities said.

The government has declared a state of emergency as it seeks to bring relief to regions of Peru hard hit by the cyclone known as Yaku, which include Lambayeque, Piura and Tumbes.

Early on Friday, the National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI) said flooding caused by Yaku had claimed six lives.

Later, INDECI said 58 people had been killed since the start of the rainy season, which began some months ago. It did not provide a specific time frame for the casualties.

Peru has been riven by instability and anti-government protests over the past few months since Congress removed former President Pedro Castillo from power in December.

READ MORE: 8 dead, 5 missing in southern Peru mudslides

His replacement, President Dina Boluarte, visited parts of northern Peru on Saturday as the government delivered humanitarian aid to areas badly hit by the cyclone.