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7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Peru

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A 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Peru on Thursday, the US Geophysical Institute (USGS) announced. The tremor was recorded around noon, with an epicenter near the town of Azangaro, near Lake Titicaca, and at a depth of around 200 kilometers, the institute said.

An earthquake of magnitude 7.2 shook southern Peru on Thursday, announced the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS), without causing any casualties, according to the Peruvian authorities. The tremor was recorded at 7:02 a.m. local time (1202 GMT), with an epicenter near the town of Azangaro, near Lake Titicaca, and at a depth of about 200 kilometers, the institute said. The Peruvian National Seismic Center put the magnitude at 6.9, with an epicenter about 240 km deep.

An earthquake that should not cause damage

Such depth in the high Peruvian Andes meant that the shock wave was greater and affected the regions of Tacna (border with Chile), Moquegua, Cuzco and Arequipa, according to the authorities. “For the time being, due to the level of intensity of the tremor on the surface, it should not cause damage, but frighten” the population, declared on RPP radio Hernando Tavera, director of the Geophysical Institute of the Peru.

“When the earthquake is deeper, the shaking of the ground is less. The radius of perception is greater than the shaking. The entire southern region of Peru was affected by the earthquake,” explained Hernando Tavera. “We are checking the situation, it is still too early to know if there is damage or not,” said the general coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Center (COEN), Rolando Capucho. .

Appeal to the population to “keep calm”

On Twitter, the Peruvian presidency called on the population “to keep calm in the face of possible aftershocks”. “The government is coordinating with the authorities to assess the personal and material damages,” she added. A resident of the city of Cusco, where 400,000 people live, told RPP radio that the earthquake had “been felt very strongly, many people went out into the street”. In Arequipa, the second largest city in the country with 1 million inhabitants, residents quickly left their homes to take refuge in the streets, but without a scene of panic, according to local media.

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In Lima, located in the center-west of the country and where 10 million inhabitants live, the shock was however not felt. Peru is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a vast zone of seismic activity that stretches along the western coast of the American continent. The country is shaken by at least 400 noticeable earthquakes each year. The last deadly earthquake dates back to August 15, 2007 on the central coast of the country. Of magnitude 7.9, it had killed 595 people.

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