27 May 2019

Buildings collapse in 8.0 earthquake in northern Peru

7:08 am on 27 May 2019

An earthquake with a magnitude of as much as 8.0 stuck northern Peru, collapsing buildings and knocking out power to some areas but causing only one reported death.

In this photo provided by Firefighters of Peru, people pass in front destroyed wall in Yurimaguas Peru, Sunday, May 26, 2019.

A damaged home in the town of Yurimaguas in Peru. Photo: AP

The quake, at an "intermediate depth" of around 110km, was felt around the country and even hundreds of miles away in the capital city of Lima, local authorities reported.

The quake struck at 2.41 a.m. and was centred in a vast nature preserve 92km east of the small town of Yurimaguas.

Peru's President Martin Vizcarra (2-R) arrives at an airport in Yurimaguas before touring the area affected by a quake in the Amazon region in Peru, on May 26, 2019.

President Martín Vizcarra, second from right, arrives at an airport in Yurimaguas before touring the area affected by a quake in the Amazon region in Peru. Photo: AFP

President Martín Vizcarra called for calm before traveling to the zone with members of his cabinet to survey the damage. He said first reports indicate a bridge had collapsed and several homes and roads had been affected.

"It's a quake that was felt throughout the Peruvian jungle," said Mr Vizcarra, who was scheduled to host a regional summit today in the capital with the presidents of Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador.

Ricardo Seijas, chief of the National Emergency Operations Centre, said one person died when a rock fell on a house in the Huarango district.

A preliminary survey by authorities found that six people were injured and 27 homes damaged across seven provinces. Three schools, three hospitals and two churches were also affected.


Onlookers survey the damage to a road near the city of Cajamarca in Peru's northern highlands. Photo: AFP

In Yurimaguas, a bridge and several old houses collapsed, and the electricity was cut, according to the National Emergency Operations Centre.

Images circulating on social media showed residents in several parts of the country panicked as the quake shook buildings.

The quake also awoke people in Lima, who ran out of their homes in fear.

"It was a really long quake," said Maria Brito, who lives on the fifth floor of an apartment building in the capital. "It could've been worse, and luckily it's over."

Earthquakes are frequent in Peru, which lies on the Pacific's so-called Ring of Fire. On 15 August 2007, a similarly sized quake struck near Lima, killing more than 500 people.

- Reuters / AP