Amid an unbearable stench in Peru’s capital, thousands of workers, police and soldiers are struggling to contain and clean up a flood of sewage that has caused a health emergency in one of Lima’s most populous districts.

The foul flood was caused by a blockage in a giant pipe that collects 80 percent of the sewage in the San Juan de Lurigancho district, which has more than 1 million residents.

Adding a political element, the pipe was relocated about six years ago by Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction giant that is at the heart of a corruption scandal engulfing elites across Latin America, including Peru.

The flooding began Sunday when sewage spilled across more than eight hectares (20 acres) of the borough, reaching depths of two meters (6½ feet).

A woman covers her nose as she passes a street that was flooded over the weekend with sewage water in the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
A woman covers her nose as she passes a street that was flooded over the weekend with sewage water in the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Horse-mounted police wear face masks amid the smell of sewage, as they patrol the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Horse-mounted police wear face masks amid the smell of sewage, as they patrol the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Maria Cruz, 80, is comforted by her grandson Johnny Medina as she cries outside her home, where workers are carrying away items destroyed by a flood of sewage water in the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Maria Cruz, 80, is comforted by her grandson Johnny Medina as she cries outside her home, where workers are carrying away items destroyed by a flood of sewage water in the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Maria Cruz washes a bride and groom statue, meant for a wedding cake, after her home was flooded with sewage water in the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Maria Cruz washes a bride and groom statue, meant for a wedding cake, after her home was flooded with sewage water in the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Jose Borja carries his dog
Jose Borja carries his dog “Reina” to another, nearby home after his was flooded with sewage water in the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
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