Peru declares emergency after huge cracks in earth threaten village

LIMA (AFP) - Peru declared a state of emergency in part of the country on Saturday after deep cracks caused by heavy rains appeared in a village, terrifying residents.

The gaping crevasses have worsened over several weeks in the northern Ancash region, making some houses uninhabitable and prompting the emergency resolution by the government.

The cracks looked similar to faults caused by earthquakes, but experts said heavy rains in March and April caused soil shifts and the expansion and contraction of earth, causing the ground to split. "The earth does not shake, we saw a crack in the morning and in the afternoon it grew," Socosbamba resident Leopoldo Egusquiza told a local television station.

The state of emergency will last for 60 days, during which authorities will try and respond to the crisis.