Peru hit by earthquake of magnitude 7.5, no casualties reported
Peru, which is a small coastal country in South America, was hit by a strong earthquake on Sunday, multiple reports said. The earthquake's magnitude was recorded at 7.5 on the Richter scale, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) revealed. The tremors were felt in the Northern side of the country at 2:41 AM. No casualties were reported immediately. Here's what we know so far.
People ran for their lives, power cuts were reported
The quake originated at 180 km east of the town of Moyobamba. It had a depth of around 105 km. In the capital Lima, people ran for their lives and power cuts were reported from several areas. A couple of pictures showed damaged houses and shopping centers. Mountains of rubble were also seen on the streets.
Here are the first visuals from Peru
President Vizcarra asked people to remain calm
As fear took over people, agencies got to work. The Ministry of the Interior of Peru said local law enforcement agencies were patrolling streets to calm down the residents. "We are evaluating the affected areas. I ask all of our citizens to remain calm," Martín Vizcarra, the country's president, said in a tweet. Notably, tremors were also felt in Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador.
Officials ruled out the threat of tsunami
Peru is located in Pacific's "ring of fire" and is frequently visited by earthquakes. After the tremors, authorities rushed to assess if there was a tsunami threat. US Tsunami Warning System ruled out this possibility. However, USGS issued a yellow "pager" alert to assess the possible damage. The agency said there is a 46% chance that 100 people may have died.
USGS said many people live in "highly vulnerable" buildings
"Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are mud wall and ductile reinforced concrete frame construction," USGS said in a statement.