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Raintree21

Major Earthquake in Peru

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There are reports of a major earthquake (7.5 magnitude) occuring just off the coast of Peru. Details so far are sketchy. They just issued a tsunami warning for Peru, Chile, and Ecquador and watches issued for just about every other South and Central American country not listed that borders the Pacific Ocean.

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According to CNN.com:

The quake struck at 6:41 p.m. (7:41 p.m. ET) and was centered 25 miles (61 kilometers) west-northwest of Chincha Alta, Peru, and 90 miles (161 kilometers) south-southeast of Lima, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was 25 miles (47 kilometers) below the Earth's surface.

More tremors followed. A magnitude 5.8 quake occurred at 7:02 p.m. (8:02 p.m. ET). It was further inland, centered 70 miles (113 kilometers) northeast of Chincha Alta and 111 miles (179 kilometers) east-southeast of Lima.

And at 7:19 p.m., another smaller quake of 5.9 magnitude occurred, centered 30 miles (48 kilometers) south-southwest of Ica, Peru, and 180 miles (290 kilometers) south-southeast of Lima.

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The country's health minister said the earthquake killed at least 135 people and injuring more than 1,300 others in cities farther to the south but the National Civil Defense Institute's Web site said the quake toll had reached 337 dead and 827 injured.

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The official death toll has risen to 450 and is expected to rise much higher. The earthquake's magnitude was raised from 7.9 to 8 on Thursday by the U.S. Geological Survey. At least 14 aftershocks of magnitude 5 or greater followed.

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The situation in Pisco and in Ica is really quite desperate. Drinking water is all but unavailable, creating additional health problems. Dust has added to the misery as well. I was recently in Peru, though we were not in this area. Pisco is supposedly an interesting city. I hope that something of its history can be preserved. All in all, a horrible situation.

BBC News

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