World Strong earthquake in southern Peru leaves one dead, 20 injured

15:31  14 january  2018
15:31  14 january  2018 Source:   Reuters

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A moderate 5.2 magnitude earthquake in Peru killed at least nine people and left 40 injured , crushing villagers under rubble and blocking roads, officials said on Tuesday. The quake knocked down about 50 homes and cut off roads and power in the southern Arequipa region.

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A strong earthquake struck the coast of southern Peru on Sunday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, leaving one dead and around 20 injured and causing homes and roads to collapse.

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The 7.1 magnitude quake hit at 4:18 a.m. local time (0918 GMT) at a depth of around 10 km (6 miles), the USGS said. Peru's government Geophysical Institute said the earthquake was of magnitude 6.7 with its epicenter in Lomas, in the southern region of Arequipa.

Arequipa Governor Yamila Osorio said on Twitter that one 55-year old man died in the town of Yauca after being crushed by rock, while 20 people were injured in the town of Chala.

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Several municipalities were without electricity, and many roads and adobe houses had collapsed, Osorio said. Many residents of Lomas were evacuated after feeling an aftershock, she said.

Earthquakes are common in Peru, but many homes are built with precarious materials that cannot withstand them.

In 2007 an earthquake killed hundreds in the region of Ica.

Peruvian maritime authorities said the quake did not produce a tsunami on the Peruvian coast.

Peru is the world's No. 2 copper producer, although many of the mines in the south are located far inland from the coastal region where the quake struck. A representative of Southern Copper Corp said there were no reports of damage at its Cuajone and Toquepala mines in the regions of Moguegua and Tacna.

Jesus Revilla, a union leader at the Cerro Verde copper mine in Arequipa, said there were no reports that operations had been affected.

The quake was also felt in northern Chile, Peru's southern neighbor. Chile's National Emergency offices said there were no reports of injuries, damage to infrastructure, or interruption of basic services. Chile's navy said the quake did not meet the conditions that would produce a tsunami off its coast.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino and Luc Cohen; Additional reporting by Antonio de la Jara in Santiago; Editing by Dale Hudson and Louise Heavens)

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