Sunday, January 14, 2018

Peru earthquake: Powerful magnitude 7.1 tremor kills one and leaves dozens injured

A powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake has struck the coast of southern Peru, leaving one person dead and several dozen injured.
Authorities rolled back earlier statements saying a second person had died and 17 people were missing in a mine, suggesting the human toll of the quake may not be as drastic as previously feared.
Homes and roads collapsed and several municipalities were left without electricity. Residents of
Lomas, a coastal town, were evacuated after feeling an aftershock.
One 55-year-old man died in the town of Yauca after being crushed by a rock, Yamila Osorio, governor of Arequipa, said on Twitter.
Jorge Chavez, chief of Peru's Civil Defense Institute, told local radio station RPP that 65 people were injured but withdrew his earlier statement that a second person had died in the town of Bella Union.
"The victim reportedly found in Bella Union has not been confirmed," Mr Chavez said. "Officially, we only have one death."
Damage to roads was impeding help from arriving to the most-affected zones, which are mainly rural and remote, Mr Chavez added. Aid workers and supplies would be flown in from nearby cities, he said.
The quake hit offshore at 4:18am local time (9.18am GMT) at a depth of around 22.4 miles (36 km), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
Its epicentre was in the Pacific Ocean 25 miles (40km) from the town of Acari.
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the President of Peru, said on Twitter he was in route to the affected region to "verify the magnitude of the damage and send the needed humanitarian aid."
Abel Salinas Rivas, the Health Minister, told RPP rescue workers spoke with representatives of the informal Estrella mine and confirmed no one was missing from there. Mr Rivas had said earlier 17 people were missing after the mine east of Chala suffered damages following the quake.
The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre initially warned "hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts" and larger-than-normal waves could hit Peru and Chile.
But the centre then said in a later statement "there is no longer a tsunami threat from this earthquake" and the centre hadn't observed any tsunami waves.
The quake was also felt in northern Chile, Peru's southern neighbour.
Chile's National Emergency offices said there were no reports of injuries, damage to infrastructure, or interruption of basic services.
Earthquakes are common in Peru, but many homes are built with precarious materials unable to withstand them.
In 2007 an earthquake killed hundreds in the region of Ica.
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