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  HOME | Latin America (Click here for more)

Powerful Quake Rocks Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, Kills 1
A rockslide caused by the temblor killed one person in Cajamarca, a province in the Peruvian Andes, one of seven provinces where injuries and damage were reported

LIMA – At least one person was killed and 11 others were injured by the magnitude-7.5 earthquake that had its epicenter in the Peruvian Amazon and rocked a portion of northwestern South America on Sunday, the National Emergency Operations Center (COEN) said.

A rockslide caused by the temblor killed one person in Cajamarca, a province in the Peruvian Andes, one of seven provinces where injuries and damage were reported.

Most of the injuries occurred in Yurimaguas, an Amazonian city located near the quake’s epicenter.

President Martin Vizcarra and two members of his Cabinet traveled to Yurimaguas on Sunday to get a firsthand look at the damage.

The COEN said several dozen families were affected by the earthquake, with some losing their homes and others dealing with damage to dwellings.

Peruvian emergency management officials said there were reports of power outages and damage to infrastructure, including the bridge that links Yurimaguas to Tarapoto, the capital of San Martin region.

The earthquake was felt in Lima, located about 700 kilometers (nearly 435 miles) south of the epicenter, with a moderate intensity and a duration of about one minute.

In Peru’s capital, people woke to swaying buildings and rattling windows.

The Peruvian Geophysics Institute said the quake occurred at 2:41 am and its epicenter was in the Pacaya Samiria national reserve in Loreto, a sparsely populated area.

The powerful earthquake also affected neighboring Colombia and Ecuador, officials said.

Ecuadorian officials said at least six people were injured in different provinces by the powerful quake, which was felt across the country.

“As of now, six people have been reported injured: one in Los Rios province, one in Loja, two in Zamora Chinchipe, one in Morona Santiago and one in Santo Domingo,” the Ecuadorian national emergency management office said in a statement.

The Ecuadorian Geophysics Institute said the temblor had a magnitude of 8.09.

The government has activated emergency response units in Ecuador’s Amazonian provinces and called on residents to remain calm.

Officials in Colombia, meanwhile, said no injuries or damage have been reported following the earthquake, which registered a magnitude of 8.3 on Colombian Geological Service seismographs.

The temblor was felt in Bogota and other parts of Colombia, setting off emergency sirens and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate high-rise buildings in the capital, Cali, Manizales and Popayan as a precaution.

Peru and Ecuador are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region of frequent quakes and volcano activity that accounts for about 85 percent of the world’s seismic activity.

In 2016, a magnitude-7.8 earthquake killed about 700 people and injured thousands of others in Ecuador’s Esmeraldas and Manabi provinces.

The powerful quake, which left thousands of people homeless, caused more than $3 billion in property damage.


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