efe-epaLima

More than 10,000 trees of different varieties started growing in the desert in Piura, a Peruvian region on the border with Ecuador, following the floods that affected the area earlier this year, the National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) said Sunday.

The vegetation started growing near the city of Catacaos, where the Agriculture Ministry planted 20 kilos (44 pounds) of seeds in a 250-hectare (617-acre) parcel of land as part of a reforestation project after the rains, which are rare in the region.

Illegal cutting had deforested the area, but the new vegetation is already attracting wildlife, including birds and reptiles.

Farmers in the community of San Juan Bautista de Catacaos are working to foster the growth of the newly sprouted trees.

Isaias Ipanaque, president of the Benjamin del Campo Agricultural Association, said in a statement released by the SERFOR that the new forest would provide shade for livestock.

Piura, located about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) north of Lima, was the region worst affected by the flooding in March.

The natural disaster killed 18 people, injured 40 others and left three people missing.

The floods destroyed more than 14,000 dwellings, 46 schools, three clinics and 8,600 hectares (21,234 acres) of farmland.