Powerful 6.0 quake strikes southern Peru

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LIMA—A powerful magnitude 6.0 quake shook southern Peru on Thursday, US seismologists said, with Peru authorities indicating no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The US Geological Survey said the temblor had a depth of 99.7 kilometers (62 miles). It struck at 11:03 am (1603 GMT) some 117 kilometers (73 miles) west-northwest of the city of Arequipa.

Many people rushed out of homes and businesses and onto the street in search of safety from the quake, which was also felt in the neighboring Ica and Moquegua regions. Telephone lines were cut temporarily.

“At the moment, there are no reports” of victims from the temblor, said Geophysical Institute of Peru chief Hernan Tavera, who told AFP that the damage was limited to minor landslides of dirt and stones.

The National Civil Defense Institute said it was reviewing the condition of homes in the region, particularly in areas on the periphery of the quake, where many houses are built of adobe and other less-than-sturdy materials.

So far this year there have been more than 80 medium-intensity earthquakes in Peru, which is on what geologists call the Pacific Ring of Fire — an area with intense seismic activity that produces around 85 percent of the world’s quakes.

The latest quake came just a week after Peru carried out a nationwide safety drill to see how authorities would respond if the capital region were struck by a cataclysmic magnitude-eight earthquake and resulting tsunami.

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