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18 Jan 2018 21:17
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  •   Home > News > International

    Magnitude-7.1 earthquake strikes off coast of Peru, killing one

    A strong earthquake strikes the coast of southern Peru, causing damage to homes, collapsing roads and killing one person.

    A strong earthquake has struck the coast of southern Peru, causing damage to homes, collapsing roads and killing one person.

    The magnitude-7.1 quake hit at 4:18am (local time) on Sunday at a depth of around 10 km, the US Geological Survey said.

    Peru's government Geophysical Institute said the earthquake was of magnitude-6.7 with its epicentre in the coastal town of Lomas, in the southern region of Arequipa.

    Several dozen people were injured in the quaked, but authorities back-tracked on statements that two had died and 17 were missing after an informal mine east of the coastal city of Chala collapsed, authorities said.

    Arequipa Governor Yamila Osorio said on Twitter that one 55-year-old man died in the town of Yauca after being crushed by a rock.

    Jorge Chavez, chief of Peru's Civil Defence Institute, told local radio station RPP that a second death was reported in the town of Bella Union.

    "There are several homes affected and it is possible that the count of victims and injured will rise," Mr Chavez said.

    Ms Osorio said on Twitter the quake caused minor material damage, including some collapsed roads.

    Several municipalities were without electricity, and many adobe houses — houses built with earth — had collapsed, she said.

    Many residents of Lomas were evacuated after feeling an aftershock.

    Peruvian maritime authorities said the quake did not produce a tsunami, despite a warning initially being issued for Peru and Chile by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC).

    The warning was cancelled, but the PTWC advised minor sea level fluctuations could continue for hours after the earthquake.

    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 in the country's south.


    © 2018 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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