Magnitude 7.5 earthquake shakes Peru and knocks down century-old tower

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake rocked northern Peru on Sunday, causing a 16th-century Catholic church tower to collapse, although no deaths or serious injuries were immediately reported.

The earthquake struck the sparsely populated area at 5:52 a.m. local time, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake was deep, about 0.7 mile below the Earth’s surface, a factor that can sometimes reduce damage to buildings and infrastructure.

The epicenter was 25 miles northwest of Barranca, a coastal town of 63,000 people about 100 miles north of Lima.

Photos from the scene showed a pile of rubble at the site of the historic 45-foot-tall tower. Social media posts also showed damage elsewhere in the region, and the quake was felt across Peru’s northern border into Colombia and Ecuador.

Walter Culqui, mayor of the city of Jalca Grande, said RPP Notice that of the 3,000 families in the city, “60 or 70%” suffered damage to their homes. Three people were slightly injured, Culqui said.

He said the city would need machines to move rubble from blocked roads and damaged homes

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The National Institute of Civil Defense of the Ministry of Defense in Peru did not immediately report the damage or injuries caused by the earthquake.

The earthquake struck hours after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake with the epicenter on the outskirts of Lima shook the region.

Contribution: The Associated Press


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