LIMA, Peru (AP) — Stunned Peruvians watched and took out cellphone cameras as a woman escaped after being swept into an avalanche of mud, wood debris and farm animals about 53 kilometers (32 miles) south of downtown Lima.
Evangelina Chamorro, 32, had just dropped her two daughters at school and was feeding her pigs alongside her husband when they were pulled into a landslide. Armando Rivera, Chamorro's husband, told RPP radio they climbed a tree but the trunk broke. They held on to each other's hands but Chamorro eventually lost his grip and got separated.
She emerged near a bridge, lifting herself from a current of wooden planks and walking toward the shore covered head to toe in mud.
"There's a person there!" an onlooker cried out.
Chamorro collapsed as she reached land and was quickly carried by several men to an ambulance. She sustained only minor injuries.
Authorities said Thursday they expect the rains caused by El Nino, which generates a warming of surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, to continue for another two weeks. Thus far, officials say a total of 62 people have died and 12,000 homes have been destroyed in storms this year.