Earthquake strikes Amazon jungle in Peru

A powerful earthquake has struck a remote part of the Amazon jungle in Peru, causing buildings to collapse and knocking out power to some areas.

The magnitude 8 quake was felt as far away as neighbouring Colombia and Ecuador.

It was centred in a vast nature reserve 57 miles east of the small town of Yurimaguas.

Helping limit damage was the earthquake’s depth, at 70 miles below the surface, according to the US Geological Survey. Earthquakes that are close to the surface generally cause more destruction.

Debris on the ground after the earthquake in Yurimaguas, Peru (Firefighters of Peru via AP)
Debris on the ground after the earthquake in Yurimaguas, Peru (Firefighters of Peru via AP)

President Martin Vizcarra called for calm before travelling 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 entire Amazon,” said Mr Vizcarra, who was scheduled to host a regional summit on Sunday in the capital with the presidents of Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador.

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

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

The quake also woke up 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.”

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

- Press Association

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