Thousands displaced amid flooding in Peru

In Piura, 859 km (534 miles) north of the capital city of Lima, residents desperately tried to cross a river to escape the flooding by floating on a makeshift 'boat' made of a tire and wood.

Authorities said they will send heavy machinery to clear a path at 19 critical points along rivers and other bodies of water in four districts of Piura.

In the Amazon region of Bagua, firefighters rescued an elderly woman who was trapped inside her house after heavy rain caused one of the adobe walls to collapse, blocking her exit.

Neighbours called authorities after hearing her yell for help. Firefighters said they found her shivering from the cold after spending hours under the rain.

Across much of the north, Peruvians struggled with flooded fields, dead livestock and cut off roads as rivers overflowed.

Authorities warn that the ongoing heavy rains are likely to cause more flooding and the regions of Lambayeque, Cajamarca, Piura, Tumbes, Junín and Huánuco are expected to be particularly susceptible to continuing damage.