LIMA, Peru – An earthquake with an initial magnitude of 7.5 struck northern Peru early Sunday morning, damaging some buildings and closing several roads with rubble.
While the quake was very strong, it was relatively deep – 112 kilometers (70 miles) – which usually reduces the potential for damage and injuries.
The earthquake occurred at 5:52 a.m. (1052 GMT) and had its epicenter in the Amazon region, 42 kilometers (26 miles) northwest of the city of Barranca. It measured a magnitude of 7.5, according to the US Geological Survey.
Mayor Walter Colque told Peruvian radio RPP that part of a 16th-century church in the Amazon region of La Galca had collapsed and three people were slightly injured.
Falling stones blocked several highways in Peru’s Amazonas and Cajamarca regions, and the earthquake was felt 800 kilometers (500 miles) in the capital, Lima, as some people rushed out of their homes in panic.
A church in the municipality of Loja in neighboring Ecuador was also partially damaged. The earthquake was also felt in parts of Colombia and Brazil.
Earthquakes are common in Peru, which lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire where 85 percent of the planet’s seismic activity occurs.
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