Lima: An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 hit northern Peru on Sunday, destroying 75 houses and injuring at least ten people, Agence France-Presse reported. The quakes also caused damage in neighbouring Ecuador.
The Geophysical Institute of Peru said that the severe quakes hit the region at 5:52 am local time at a depth of 131 km. The epicentre was 98 kilometres east of the Peruvian town Santa Maria de Nieva in the Peruvian Amazon, sparsely populated by Amazonian indigenous people. The mayor of the town, Hector Requejo, told RPP radio that the movement was immense and houses of wood and adobe collapsed.
A colonial-era church with a 14-meter tower collapsed in the La Jalca district. Widespread power outages were reported, and rocks unearthed by the tremors blocked roads. The deep quakes were felt in nearly half of the country, including coastal, Andean and capital regions.
People from the affected areas told RPP radio that they had taken to the streets and were scared.
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo tweeted his support to the affected and said that they are not alone. He added that he had ordered all the relevant ministries to take immediate action.
Though Lima was 1,000 km south of the epicentre and tremor felt less intense, it lasted long, prompting people to take to the streets.
However, United States monitors have not issued Tsunami warnings.
Lima was struck by a 5.2 intense earthquake hours before, but no casualties were reported. The epicentre was west of Callao, Lima's neighbouring port.
Peru is prone to at least 400 perceptible earthquakes every year since it is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. This area has ample seismic activity that extends along the west coast of the American continent. On August 15, 2007, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Peru's central coast and took more than 500 lives.