World Media

Peru struck by powerful 8.0-magnitude natural disaster

The quake struck 80 kilometers southeast of Lagunas at around 115 kilometers deep

A large natural disaster with a preliminary magnitude of 8.0 struck north-central Peru early Sunday, the US Geological survey reported.

A magnitude eight natural disaster killed one person, destroyed dozens of homes and disrupted some oil operations in Peru, local authorities said.

Intermediate depth quakes typically cause less surface damage than shallower tremors.

The quake hit at a moderate depth of 114km. In Lima and other cities, frightened residents rushed into the streets.

A 48-year-old man was killed in the region of Cajamarca after a boulder struck his home, emergency officials said.

A spokeswoman for Canadian oil company Frontera Energy, which operates Peru's largest oil block in of Loreto, said there were no damages to its installations. The country´s oil and mining infrastructure was operating normally, Ecuadorian Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner said on Twitter.

More than 50 houses in Peru were left uninhabitable, Seijas said.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra said the hardest hit areas were the towns of Yurimaguas and Tarapoto.

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

"We're evaluating the affected areas", he said. The Institute of Geophysics of Peru, which uses a different scale, measured it at 7.5 on the Richter scale and said it lasted just over two minutes.

The quake also awoke people in Lima, who ran out of their homes in fear.

"You could not walk at the time of the quake, things were falling", Pezo told RPP radio. Video from the police station shows the police chief shouting at his subordinates to quickly open the jail cells and get inmates outside.

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre was at a depth of 110 kilometers (68 miles).

Experts at the US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was "no tsunami threat because the natural disaster is located too deep inside the earth".

There were no immediate reports of casualties, although some buildings collapsed and power cuts were reported in a number of cities.

Peruvian media said the tremor was also felt in parts of Colombia and Venezuela.