Peru reels from floods as it waits for end to brutal rainy season

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Peru struggling with floods after rainy season
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Peru struggling with floods after rainy season
Residents cross a flooded street, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huarmey, Ancash, Peru, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Vehicles wait on the Central Highway after a mudslide in Huarochiri, Lima, Peru, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
View of a flooded home after the Rimac river overflowed near the Central Highway in Huarochiri, Lima, Peru, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
Members of the Caffo family sits near belongings at a flooded street after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huarmey, Ancash, Peru, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
A vehicle is seen, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huarmey, Ancash, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
Residents carry their belongings out of their house, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huarmey, Ancash, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
Residents use a raft to cross a flooded street, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huarmey, Ancash, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
A woman removes her belongings from her house, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huarmey, Ancash, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
A resident shows her flooded living room, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huarmey, Ancash, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
People help a woman get off the roof of a house after after a massive landslide and flood in the Huachipa district of Lima, Peru March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
Residents walk near a destroyed home, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Cajamarquilla, Lima, Peru, March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
A resident cleans her belongings at a flooded street, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huachipa, Peru, March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
A police officer wipes a man's eye at a site after a massive landslide and flood in the Huachipa district of Lima, Peru March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo
A woman is assisted while crossing a flooded street after the Huaycoloro river overflooded its banks sending torrents of mud and water rushing through the streets in Huachipa, Peru, March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Samuel Fuero rests in a flooded room of his home, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
Julian Quispe stands in his flooded hairdressing salon after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
Dog stands at debris of a destroyed home, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huachipa, Lima,Peru, March 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
A volunteer cleans a flooded home, after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Cajamarquilla, Lima, Peru, March 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
People try to cross the Rimac River after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
Aerial view from a helicopter as Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski observes the massive landslide and flood in Trujillo, northern Peru, March 21, 2017. Luis Guillen Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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CARAPONGO, Peru (Reuters) - Between rows of plastic tents on the outskirts of Lima, Martha Llanos takes her ration of rice and chicken alongside thousands of others who have been forced from their homes by the worst flooding to hit Peru in decades.

The 43-year-old mother of three said she was less worried about the loss of her makeshift home in the destitute district of Carapongo than she was about her children's health.

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"My 2-year-old daughter tells me: 'Mommy, my stomach hurts,'" Llanos said from the tent city authorities set up for the displaced. "I don't have any medicine."

The specter of diseases thriving amid pools of stagnant water in flooded neighborhoods is one of a raft of problems Peru faces as it waits for an end to an unusually brutal rainy season.

More than 80 people have been killed and 110,000 displaced in rain-related incidents since December, most of them this month after a sudden warming of Pacific waters off Peru's coast unleashed torrential downpours in a damaging local El Nino phenomenon.

In parts of Peru, including the capital, Lima, where a third of Peruvians live, school classes have been suspended and running water restricted after treatment plants were clogged with debris from mudslides.

An unestimated amount in damages to infrastructure has choked off transit and produced food shortages in some markets.

Poor Peruvians who have built their homes on affordable land near rivers and ravines have been the hardest hit.

"I used to have my business here, but the river swept it away," said Veronica Ventura, a 33-year-old single mother as she dug through the mud to find the bottles of soda she once sold from her house.

As rains continue to lash Peru's northern desert region and part of the central Andes, authorities warn flooding may last into April.

The government has fumigated more than 200,000 homes to prevent outbreaks of mosquito-transmitted diseases such as dengue, zika or chikungunya.

In Carapongo, cement columns and parts of brick walls steeped in mud are some of the only remnants of homes that once bordered the Rimac River before it burst its banks last week.

Victor Chuco, a 60-year-old taxi driver, said he and his family had to break through the corrugated iron roof of the house he built two decades ago to avoid drowning in it.

"It caught us by surprise," Chuco said. "I've lost everything, but at least I'm alive."

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