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AP/PA Images

7.5-magnitude earthquake hits Peru

The deep quake affected almost half of the country, including coastal and Andean regions, and the capital Lima.

A 7.5-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE struck Peru earlier today, sending shock waves across the northern and central regions.

The strong quake hit at a depth of 131 kilometres (81 miles), according to the Geophysical Institute of Peru.

Its epicentre was 98 kilometres east of the town of Santa Maria de Nieva in the Peruvian Amazon – a sparsely populated area inhabited by Amazonian indigenous people.

The deep quake affected almost half of the country, including coastal and Andean regions, and the capital Lima.

“We have all taken to the streets, we are very scared,” a listener called Lucia told RPP radio from the northern town of Chota.

“It has felt very strong,” another listener, who identified himself as Juan, added from the northern city of Chiclayo.

In its first report, the country’s National Institute of Civil Defence said no damage has been reported so far.

The United States Geological Survey forecast some possible casualties and damage, but only localised impact.

In Lima, more than 1,000 kilometres south of the epicentre, the tremor was felt with less intensity but lasted long enough to prompt some people to take to the streets.

The Peruvian capital, with a population of 10 million, had been shaken hours before by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake.

There were no casualties after the first quake, which had its epicentre 44 kilometres west of Callao, Lima’s neighbouring port, according to the Geophysical Institute.

Peru is shaken by at least 400 perceptible earthquakes every year, as it is located in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire – an area of extensive seismic activity that extends along the west coast of the American continent.

No tsunami warning was issued by United States monitors after the quake.

© AFP 2021

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