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Peru Snow: Tens Of Thousands Stranded
Tens of thousands of people have been left stranded in southern Peru following what authorities say is the worst snowfall the region has seen in a decade.
Two people in the province of Carabaya have died as a result of the unusual cold spell, local officials said.
One of the victims was a 75-year-old man who was killed when the roof of his house caved in under the weight of snow that had accumulated above.
A line of at least 100 stranded vehicles were seen between the road connecting Arequipa and Puno, after it was closed because of persistent snow and hail.
Heavy rain and icy cold temperatures have caused roads to become impassable, police said.
More than three feet (one metre) of snow has hit this region in the last few days.
Since early August, several provinces in Puno have seen the mercury drop below -15C.
Forecasters predict more wintry conditions in the coming days in Puno and other southern regions where the livelihood of the population comes from farming and raising alpacas and llamas.
Around a quarter of a million alpacas have died from the cold and starvation, and the government is doing what it can to feed them to try to prevent more deaths.
"We're providing 5,000 bales of hay that have been distributed in different districts and here in the province of Carabaya, we're also giving them vitamins, 12,000 doses for the alpacas," said an unidentified government official who was helping residents in Carabaya.
Peru's president Ollanta Humala declared a 60-day state of emergency in nine provinces on Tuesday as a result of the continuing bad weather.
Other South American countries have also been affected by the cold weather system.
In Bolivia, eight people have reportedly lost their lives and in Paraguay, two people are believed to have died of hypothermia.