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Historic flooding that has killed more than 80 people and displaced thousands has also taken a toll on Peru's roads, destroying main thoroughfares and paralysing traffic in coastal parts of the country.
HISTORIC FLOODS

The Wider Image: Peru after the floods


Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 11:18 - Historic flooding that has killed more than 80 people and displaced thousands has also taken a toll on Peru's roads, destroying main thoroughfares and paralysing traffic in coastal parts of the country.

According to official data, the flooding has damaged some 4,660 miiles of roads and 509 pedestrian and vehicular bridges. 

Portions of the Pan-American Highway North, which unites the entire coastal strip of Peru, have fallen victim to the unrelenting rains and overflowing rivers. The destruction prompted Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to make reconstruction on the road a priority. He called the highway "the oxygen of the country." 

Meanwhile, cargo trucks and travellers are finding themselves stranded as damage to roads and bridges is evaluated. Peru's Transport Ministry has deployed construction crews to flood-ravaged locations to fix or install provisional bridges. Transport Minister Martin Vizcarra said that of the 509 damaged bridges, more than 100 have completely collapsed. He added that crews are working around the clock to make fixes but that bridge designs will need to be improved in the future. 

Peru is suffering through an unusually heavy rainy season after a sudden warming of Pacific waters off Peru's coast unleashed torrential downpours in a damaging local El Nino phenomenon.

A powerful photo essay below shows the extent of the flood damage:

A chair sits on top of belongings after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Carapongo Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

A baby shower sign hands on a wall at the home of Carlos Rojas after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Carapongo Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

A chair stands in mud at the home of Francisco Coca after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Carapongo Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

A remote control lies in mud after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Carapongo Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Belongings are seen at the home of Paulino Rojas after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Carapongo Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

A Minnie Mouse soft toy lies in mud after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Carapongo Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

A children's bike leans against a wall covered in mud after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Carapongo Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Televisions and a chair sit on a pedestrian bridge after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Carapongo Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Bottles lie in mud after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Carapongo Huachipa, Lima, Peru, March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

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