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A 7.5-magnitude earthquake in northern Peru injured 12 people and destroyed 117 homes, leaving more than 2,400 people without a roof over their heads, authorities said Monday.
The quake, which struck in the early hours of Sunday and sent shock waves across the region, also leveled five churches and damaged a clinic and some 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) of roads.
The tremor was felt in nearly half of the country, including coastal and Andean regions and the capital Lima. It also caused damage in neighboring Ecuador.
The epicenter was 98 kilometers east of the small Peruvian town of Santa Maria de Nieva in the Peruvian Amazon — a sparsely populated area inhabited by indigenous people, many of whom live in wood and mud houses, which collapsed.
The 14-meter (45-foot) tower of a colonial-era church collapsed in the La Jalca district, also in the Amazon.
Widespread power outages were reported, and roads were cut off by rocks unearthed by the tremor.
‘We have all taken to the streets, we are very scared,” a listener called Lucia told RPP radio from the northern town of Chota.
‘All my solidarity with the people of Amazonas in the face of the strong earthquake,” Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, who was at the scene of the tremor Monday, said on Twitter.
‘You are not alone, brothers.”
The president said there were “people waiting to be rescued” in remote jungle villages, and promised the government would provide food and tents.
Castillo said he had ordered all relevant ministries “to take immediate actions.”
The president indicated that in jungle villages there are still “people who are waiting to be rescued.”
In Lima, more than 1,000 kilometers south of the epicenter, the quake was felt with less intensity, but it lasted long enough to prompt some people to seek refuge on the street outside.
The Peruvian capital, with a population of 10 million, had been shaken hours before by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake.
No tsunami warning was issued by US monitors.
Peru experiences at least 400 perceptible earthquakes every year.
It is located in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire — an area of ample seismic activity that extends along the west coast of the American continent.
A powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Peru’s central coast on August 15, 2007, causing more than 500 deaths.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK