Dozens killed and thousands left homeless in Peru floods

Seventy five people have been killed and over 100,000 left homeless after a series of torrential downpours caused havoc along Peru's Pacific coast.

A sudden and abnormal warming of Pacific waters off the South American country has been blamed for unleashing a torrent of water.

The intense rains are the worst seen in two decades, authorities have said.

The rail network has been badly damaged. Credit: AP

Landslides and raging rivers have washed away people and buildings, with the destruction clogging up motorways and destroying crops.

In the capital Lima, residents were seen queuing for drinking water after damage to the treatment system caused restrictions on running water.

Classes have been suspended in the capital and supermarkets are starting to report a shortage of bottled water.

A man is pulled to safety on a harness. Credit: AP

The rainy season has delivered 10 times more rainfall than usual and a state of emergency has been declared in half the country with the armed forces being deployed to help police maintain public order.

The health ministry has started fumigating around the pools of water in the streets to kill mosquitoes that carry diseases like dengue.

The presidents of Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela have offered to send help to Peru with the storms expected to last for another two weeks.