LIMA, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Some 16,000 residents of Peru's southern Andean Cusco region were driven from their homes Wednesday after the Quillabamba River burst its banks following torrential downpours, a local official said.
In statements to Peruvian news network Radio Programas del Peru, mayor of the Quellouno Jesus Lobaton said the river flooded in the early hours of dawn, washing away homes and belongings in this remote community located 1,151 kilometers southeast of the capital Lima.
Lobaton declared a state of emergency to facilitate the arrival of aid for the thousands of homeless residents who lost everything in the floods.
"One part of the town is affected," said Lobaton. "I want to alert the central government so it can start preparing the emergency aid it can provide."
Fedia Castro, regional head of La Convencion province, where Quellouno is situated, told reporters that regional and provincial rescue teams have been mobilized to help the local residents.
Castro said the aid being provided by regional and provincial authorities isn't enough to meet the needs of the homeless, so the central government was asked to send emergency humanitarian aid and machinery.
"We hope they help us, we need more machines, because the ones we have aren't enough," said Castro.
Local authorities continue to be concerned by continuing rains, fearing more flooding from full reservoirs and rivers.