At least six people have been killed after torrential rain in the southern Peruvian city of Arequipa caused flooding, inundating hundreds of homes.

Authorities reported that three of those who perished were found trapped in their vehicle in high water on a flooded road underneath a bridge, presumably having driven in not knowing the depth of the water.

A regional meteorologist quoted by the Andina state news agency said nearly 12.3cm of rain fell on Arequipa, the country's second-largest city, during a seven-hour period that began on Friday afternoon.

Police officer Cesar Villegas told The Associated Press on Saturday that homes were destroyed and cars flipped over by surging floodwaters in the city of 800,000 residents.

Video broadcast on Peruvian television showed muddy torrents tearing apart dirt streets.

Regional Governor Miguel Guzman said at least two bridges have collapsed and several outlying towns were cut off.

Source: Agencies