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Earthquake in Peru destroys dozens of homes

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A woman picked up her belongings amid her destroyed home following an earthquake in Bella Union, Peru, today.

LIMA, Peru >> A powerful earthquake struck off Peru’s coast early today, tumbling adobe homes in small, rural towns, killing at least one person and injuring dozens, officials said.

The sole fatality was a man crushed by a falling rock, officials said. They said many of those injured were in Caraveli province, a coastal area dependent on fishing and mining that is popular with tourists.

Sixty-five people were injured, the national chief of civil defense, Jorge Chavez, said.

The earthquake destroyed 171 homes, displacing the same number of families, Peru’s National Emergency Operations Center said on its website tonight. It added that 736 families had been affected in some way by the tremor.

Emergency crews responded by bringing in tents and mattresses to displaced families, officials said.

“Everything that is needed is going to be sent,” President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said. “We are already responding at full speed.”

The U.S. Geological Survey said the early morning quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and was centered 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Acari in the Arequipa department of southwestern Peru. There was no tsunami threat for Hawaii.

The quake jolted people awake as far away as the capital city of Lima, some 350 miles (560 kilometers) from Acari.

Workers used large tractors to clear away boulders and debris that crashed down and blocked some roads.

The quake caused some damage in communities that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit this week, and officials said the damage would not change the pontiff’s tour.

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