Lima, Tuesday

Thirty-three people were confirmed dead and at least 100 others were missing after a massive mudslide early today in Peru's south-eastern Andean region of Apurimac.

''We have recovered 33 bodies at this point. That is confirmed. Seventeen have been officially registered and another 16 are waiting to be transported and identified,'' said Luis Barra Pacheco, the mayor of Abancay, the capital of Apurimac. ''Under the mud, there are at least 100 people.''

A wall of mud slammed into the villages of Ccocha and Pumaranra at around 4am.

''Two villages have totally disappeared,'' Barra Pacheco said, adding that about 10.5 million cubic feet of mud had slid off the mountain.

Rescuers said they had pulled out dozens of bodies from the mud and had seen many more corpses.

''There were arms, heads, pieces of bodies sticking out of the mud,'' said firefighter Richard Rojas.

''We have tried to dig up the bodies using picks and shovels, but it's been difficult.''

Rescuers said the corpses had been battered and mutilated by stones carried in the mudslide.-Reuter.