Homes destroyed and one person killed as Peru is rocked by powerful earthquake

A powerful earthquake struck off Peru’s coast, tumbling homes in small, rural towns, killing at least one person and leaving dozens injured, officials said.

The earthquake destroyed 63 homes, displacing about 130 people, and it injured 65 people, Peru’s chief of civil defence Jorge Chavez said.

The sole fatality was man killed when he was crushed by a fallen rock, said officials, adding that many of those injured were in Chala district, a coastal area dependent on fishing and mining that is popular with tourists.

Emergency crews responded by sending tents and mattresses to the displaced families, officials said.

"Everything that is needed is going to be sent," Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said.

"We are already responding at full speed."

The US Geological Survey said the early morning quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and was centred 25 miles from Acari in the Arequipa department of southwestern Peru.

Homes destroyed and one person killed as Peru is rocked by powerful earthquake

The quake jolted people awake as far away as capital city of Lima, some 350 miles from Acari, blocked some roads, collapsed adobe homes in several towns and left at least one supermarket a jumble of fallen crackers boxes and soda bottles.

Workers used large tractors to clear away boulders and debris that crashed onto roads.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre initially warned of that hazardous waves could hit Peru and Chile, but later stated there was no longer any tsunami threat from the quake.

The quake caused some damage in communities that Pope Francis will visit this week, but officials say it will not change the pontiff’s tour.

AP

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