Scores injured in Peruvian earthquake

Written by webmestre on January 30, 2012. Posted in Natural disasters

The epicentre of the magnitude 6.3 quake, which struck 11 minutes after midnight on Sunday (4.11pm AEDT yesterday), was 23 kilometres southeast of the city of Ica, the US Geological Survey said.

Memories are still fresh of the powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the Ica region on August 15, 2007, killing more than 500 people and injuring about 200,000. While residents remain jittery, there were no known fatalities today, Civil Defence officials said.

However, at least 145 people were injured and most were taken to hospitals, though the injuries were mostly minor, the Health Ministry said. The quake also destroyed 125 homes and damaged 581 buildings, the Civil Defence Institute said in its latest report.

Most people were injured when they fled their homes in panic, or when they were struck by collapsing walls, said Raul Huaman with the Ica Regional Hospital. Among the damaged buildings was the Cathedral of Ica, which had already been damaged in a 2007 earthquake.

The jolt caused people to flee their homes in Ica, the port of Pisco, and the towns of Palpa, Nasca and Canete. Dozens of Ica residents spent the night in parks and gardens fearing aftershocks.

The depth of the quake epicentre was 39 kilometres, according to the USGS.

The reading was based on the open-ended Moment Magnitude scale used by US seismologists, which measures the area of the fault that ruptured and the total energy released.

Peru is in the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is the site of 85 per cent of global seismic activity.

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