Alpacas in the snow
© Craig LovellAlpacas In The Snow - Peruvian Andes
President declares state of emergency.

Peru's government has declared a state of emergency in parts of the southern Andean region of Puno hit with the coldest temperatures in a decade, daily El Comercio reported.

President Ollanta Humala announced the emergency for seven provinces in Puno - Carabaya, Sandia, Lampa, San Antonio de Putina, Melgar, Puno and El Collao.

Hundreds of families have been affected and more than 250,000 alpacas have died due to freezing temperatures and snow storms.

Passengers on buses running between Puno and Arequipa were forced to wait some eight to 10 hours on the icy highways at temperatures of minus 15 degrees Celsius.