Magnitude 7.5 earthquake shakes Peru and knocks down century-old tower

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake rocked northern Peru on Sunday, causing a 16th-century Catholic church tower to collapse, although no deaths or serious injuries were immediately reported.

Peru’s civil defense chief Carlos Yañez said at least four people were injured and 220 homes severely damaged or destroyed. Yañez also said that some roads and other infrastructure had been damaged.

The earthquake struck the sparsely populated area at 5:52 a.m. local time, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake was deep, about 70 miles below the Earth’s surface, a factor that can sometimes reduce damage to buildings and infrastructure.

The epicenter was 25 miles northwest of Barranca, a coastal town of 63,000, the USGS said.

“We have four very minor injuries, but they are being treated in medical centers,” Yañez said. RPP Notice.

Photos from the scene showed a pile of rubble at the site of the historic 45-foot-tall tower. Social media posts also showed damage elsewhere in the region, and the quake was felt across Peru’s northern border into Colombia and Ecuador.

Walter Culqui, mayor of the city of Jalca Grande, said RPP that of the 3,000 families in his town, “60 or 70%” suffered damage in their homes. Three people there sustained minor injuries, Culqui said.

He said the city would need machines to move rubble from blocked roads and damaged homes. National police tweeted photos officers and volunteers dragging large boulders off the roads.

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo Terrones was visiting the most affected communities with emergency management officials.

“You are not alone, brothers and sisters,” he said tweeted. “We will support those affected and (help) property damage.”

Mirtha Vásquez, head of the Council of Ministers of Peru, said that “the government is paying the greatest attention to the Amazon and the areas affected by the recent earthquake”.

The United States National Weather Service said no tsunami warnings, surveillance or threats were issued in the aftermath of the earthquake.

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The earthquake struck hours after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake with the epicenter on the outskirts of Lima shook the region. Hernando Tavera, director of the Geophysical Institute of Peru, said at least four aftershocks had taken place after this latest earthquake, and he warned residents to prepare for further aftershocks.

Earthquakes are common in Peru in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where 85% of the earth’s earthquake activity takes place.

“Earthquakes happen because they are part of the evolutionary process of planet Earth,” Tavera told RPP Noticias.

Contribution: The Associated Press

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