Strong earthquake strikes northern Peru

Strong earthquake strikes northern Peru

An earthquake with a magnitude as high as 8.0 stuck northern Peru in the early hours of Sunday morning, the United States Geological Survey reported.

The quake, at an “intermediate depth” of around 110 kilometres, was felt around the country and even hundreds of miles away in the capital city of Lima, local authorities reported.

There were no initial reports of casualties or of significant damage.

Intermediate depth quakes typically cause less surface damage than shallower tremors. Peru sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire” where the majority of the world’s seismic activity occurs.

“There are no reports of casualties nor of major material damage at this point,” Hernán Talavera, head of the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP), told local radio station RPP.

The earthquake was around 75km SSE of Lagunas and 180 km east of the town of Moyobamba the USGS said.

There were local reports of electric power cuts in the cities of Iquitos and Tarapoto, Amazonian towns in the Loreto region of the country. Pictures and videos online also showed some cracked and damaged walls.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra said on Twitter that authorities were “evaluating the affected areas” and urged people to remain calm.