Earthquake of magnitude 7.5 hits Peru, with authorities reporting a casualty count of 10 and three deaths after landslides hit mountainous regions
Peru’s president, Martin Vizcarra, has pledged support for those affected by a massive earthquake that struck the country’s north-west and has caused landslides that cut off roads.
Initial reports from officials put the death toll at 10, but local media in Pachacamac city, one of the hardest-hit cities, have said three people were killed, including a minor girl, a fisherman, and a woman in the town of Conejo.
Reports of another landslide, in the city of Iquitos, brought the toll to at least 20. Officials earlier reported one death but later said it was a man. The President’s Office did not comment on the claim.
Crawford Gallacher (@CCarolla) AMEN (Oestah) OFIELA (OED) FM (FM 95.5) la elección #peru está finalizada en INVESTIGARIO este día en Matamoros llenos de MINAES (MinaUE) AMO EN OATO (AMO) de Perú en OTZPARS – @snic700 : ES 3 #NAD #Lamentando por Todos ( https://t.co/kcMNkgnZlc – @NBCLosAngels – @snic700 ) pic.twitter.com/Y0KtSTYhd0
The tsunami warning was lifted, but police and soldiers told residents near the quake’s epicentre to flee.
Vizcarra said the government would provide assistance immediately, warning people to stay away from the coast.
In Lima, a 10.3-magnitude aftershock rattled the capital at 6.52am local time (07.52 GMT), prompting the mayor, Alonso Segura, to order an evacuation of the city’s downtown and many schools were closed.
The earthquake struck at 15.35 local time, the US Geological Survey said. It lasted a few seconds and could be felt as far as Buenos Aires, about 500km (300 miles) away, according to Mike Roberts, a geophysicist with the Geological Survey.
In Iquitos, a city of 560,000 on the Pacific coast, authorities ordered a warning after some cracks appeared in buildings and in a reservoir that supplies water to the city. The quake’s epicentre was 60km from the Pacific coast, said the US Geological Survey, which initially said the epicentre was in the mountainous region of Madre de Dios.
A tsunami warning had earlier been issued for three islands off Peru’s coast.
Peru’s Pacific coast is regularly buffeted by tsunamis, especially in the highlands. The last major earthquake to hit Peru was in 2008, when a magnitude 8.0 quake killed 930 people and left nearly 5,000 missing in the Andean country.