At least 150 people a day have been stricken by cholera in Peru's largest Amazon jungle state since the epidemic surged again in the region over the last month, the mayor of Iquitos said Saturday.

"There has been a new outbreak of cholera in the region in the last month. Between 150 and 200 people a day have been affected in Loreto (state) and an average of two people a day are dying in Iquitos alone," said Jose Alban, mayor of the port city some 600 miles northeast of Lima.He said 800 people had been affected in two Iquitos neighborhoods, Belen and Bagazan, that are built on stilts over heavily contaminated river water.

Dr. Eduardo Salazar, head of Peru's national cholera commission, earlier this week said local officials had failed to take the measures necessary to clean up the water.

But Alban said the local population had turned the river running through the city into "a sewer."