A woman stranded by the extreme floods in Peru was rescued just in time and gave birth on board a helicopter en route to the hospital.

Maria Pingo's family alerted rescue workers that her due date was near but they struggled to pinpoint her exact location in Piura, a region in northern Peru devastated by floods and landslides in the past few months. They managed to locate her after her relatives set a tyre alight and the smoke guided them to Pingo.

She was rescued by troops and gave birth to a baby girl during the helicopter flight to the Lambayeque Regional Hospital in Chiclayo on Tuesday (4 April). Both mother and daughter are doing well, according to local media.

Heavy rainfall and devastating mud slides have wreaked havoc on Peru, leaving more than 100 dead and tens of thousands homeless. A state of emergency has been declared in more than 800 towns and cities, which have lost much of their infrastructure.

Lambayeque in northern Peru is the worst affected region. A heavy rainstorm caused the ceiling of the 400-year-old Santo Domingo church to collapse last month.

Peru landslides floods inundación imagenes
A woman is helped to cross a flooded street after the Huaycoloro river burst its banks, sending torrents of mud and water rushing through the streets of Huachipa, Peru Guadalupe Pardo/Reuters