15 Jan 2018

Peru quake: Magnitude 7.1 sea tremor topples buildings

6:24 am on 15 January 2018

A huge earthquake off south-western Peru's Pacific coast has killed at least one person and injured at least 65, as buildings collapsed.

Recording earthquake information

Recording earthquake information Photo: 123rf

The magnitude 7.1 tremor struck at 4:18am local time (10.18 NZT), at a depth of 36km, 40km south-west of Acari (population 4445).

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said rescue teams were on their way to verify the extent of the damage.

The areas affected are mainly rural and blocked roads are slowing down aid.

Early reports that 17 people were missing at a collapsed mine were later discounted.

The area between the South America and Nazca plates, where the tremor occurred, is prone to earthquakes, with 13 above magnitude 6.5 occurring over the past century, the US Geological Survey says.

Casualties and damage?

The regions of Arequipa, Ica and Ayacucho have been affected.

Falling rock crushed a man to death in the town of Yauca, in Arequipa, officials confirmed.

Arequipa Governor Yamila Osorio said adobe houses had collapsed in some areas and landslides were blocking some roads. Power cuts were also reported.

President Kuczynski said he was heading for Acari and Chala to assess the damage and needs of local people.

Tents, blankets and humanitarian aid were being delivered by air, Ms Osorio said, tweeting photos of a military plane being loaded.


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