March 17, 2000
Landslide hits village in Peru; 22 dead

                   AYACUCHO, Peru (AP) -- A landslide of mud and rock swept through an
                   isolated hamlet in Peru's southern Andes, killing at least 22 villagers,
                   authorities said Friday.

                   The incident occurred late Thursday when the rain soaked slopes of a
                   low-lying mountain ridge gave way, releasing an avalanche that traveled
                   more than a mile at high speed before striking the small community of Uralla,
                   190 miles south of the capital, Lima.

                   Civil defense teams rushed to the village Friday with medicine, food and
                   blankets for the survivors, said Ernesto Molina Chavez, a regional
                   government administrator in the highland city of Huancavelica, 40 northwest
                   of the community.

                   Chavez told The Associated Press that 22 people were killed, roughly half
                   the campesinos who lived in the hamlet. The region's peasant farmers
                   typically cultivate small plots of potatoes and corn and raise livestock,
                   including hogs, llamas and alpacas.

                   Landslides are common in Peru's high Andes during the rainy season, which
                   runs from October through March.

                    Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.