Massive earthquake rocks Peru, Chile : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Massive earthquake rocks Peru, Chile WebPosted Sat Jun 23 22:16:35 2001

LIMA - The death toll continues to climb after a powerful earthquake rocked Peru and Chile Saturday. Late Saturday, there were reports of 31 people killed, a figure expected to rise as a result of a quake said to have a magnitude of 7.9.

Hundreds have been injured in both countries by the quake. Homes have been wrecked and electricity knocked out in Peru and Chile. Powerful earthquake said to have 7.9-magnitude, biggest-ever in Peru The quake struck in mid-afternoon. The epicentre is 51 km northwest of the town of Ocona, in southern Peru.

The United States Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center czalled it a 7.9-magnitude quake. Peru's Geophysical Institute said the quake had a magnitude of six.

Officials have issued tsunami warnings along the coasts of Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia.

Juan Luis Podesta, head of the national civil defense agency, told Canal N cable television 14 people have been killed in Moquegua, some 1,300 kilometres south of Pima, near the Chilean border.

There have been at least five aftershocks.

If the 7.9 magnitude quake is accurate, it would make it the biggest-ever quake to hit Peru. A 7.7-magnitude struck Peru on May 31, 1970, killing 70,000 people.

-- Martin Thompson (, June 23, 2001


(heh heh You're finding your way through the labyrinth of the CBC site, are you now, Martin?)

Nando Times

Powerful quake kills 40 in southern Peru

By RICK VECCHIO, Associated Press

LIMA, Peru (June 24, 2001 12:43 a.m. EDT) - A major earthquake shook southern Peru on Saturday, killing at least 40 people and sending dozens of homes, churches and buildings tumbling to the ground, officials said.

At least 30 people were injured in northern Chile, four of them seriously, the government said. The quake, which had a magnitude measured at up to 7.9, was felt as far away as Bolivia.

Peru's Civil Defense Chief Juan Luis Podesta said that 17 people had died and 170 were injured in Arequipa, Peru's second-largest city, located 465 miles southeast of Lima, the capital. He said another 14 people were killed in Moquegua, 65 miles southwest of Arequipa.

"For the love of God, please send help," a woman could be heard screaming while a radio reporter described the destruction in the streets of Moquegua.

In Tacna, near the border with Chile, eight people died and 200 others were injured, Tacna Mayor Luis Torres said.

Authorities there had turned a local soccer field into an outdoor treatment center for quake victims.

One person was killed and 39 injured in the small coastal city of Camana, 455 miles southeast of Lima, a spokesman from the hospital there said.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.9 and its center was off Peru's Pacific coast, 120 miles west of Arequipa, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo. Peru's Geophysical Institute said the quake's magnitude registered 6.9 in Arequipa. The difference could not be immediately explained. The quake struck at 3:30 p.m.

At least 47 homes had collapsed in Arequipa, initial reports said. The city's imposing cathedral, first constructed in 1656, but rebuilt after an earthquake in 1868, was also damaged. Television images showed large chunks of stone work crumbled away on one of the elaborate steeples. The other steeple had fallen over.

Radio reports said people were shivering in the streets of Arequipa, which is 7,673 feet above sea level. Many were afraid to return to their homes for fear of aftershocks. At least 20 aftershocks had been registered.

Radio reports said that interim President Paniagua was flying to the region on one of two relief flight bringing 22 tons of food, blankets and medicine to the quake's victims. Rescuers searched through the rubble for survivors.

Residents in Lima fled their homes in panic when the quake struck and rattled the city for more than a minute.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu warned of a possible tsunami for the Pacific coast of Latin America, but Peru's Geophysical Institute ruled out the possibility that a major one would hit its shores. Authorities in Chile reported the sea being rough but little more. Tsunamis are the undersea waves triggered by volcanic activity or earthquakes.

Arequipa, founded by Spanish conquerors in 1540, has a long history of devastating earthquakes. The city was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1600. Arequipa now has about 1 million inhabitants.

Despite major earthquakes in 1687, 1868, 1958 and 1960, many 17th- and 18th-century buildings - built from light-colored volcanic rock - have survived. Known as "the white city," Arequipa was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO last year.

In Chile, the city hardest hit by Saturday's quake was Arica, 1,250 miles north of Santiago, the capital.

The Emergency Office spokeswoman, Carmen Fernandez, said some houses sustained damage there, and electricity and telephone services were interrupted.

Peru is intermittently shaken by earthquakes, and was battered by a 7.7 magnitude temblor in May 31, 1970, that killed approximately 70,000 people.

On November 12, 1996, 17 people were killed and some 1,500 injured in a 7.7 magnitude quake that struck Nazca. On May 30, 1990, 137 people were killed in a 6.3 magnitude quake in northern Peru.

A quake with a magnitude of 7 or more is capable of heavy and widespread damage.

-- Rachel Gibson (, June 24, 2001.

Tsunami alert called off

-- spider (, June 24, 2001.

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