Magnitude 7 earthquake strikes off coast of Peru

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Lima:  A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck off Peru's southern coast on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and local media reported that some homes had crumbled in a region near the quake.

The epicenter of the earthquake, which was 29 miles (46 kilometers) deep, was 29 miles south of the town of Acari in Peru's southern Arequipa region, the USGS said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths, but a local official reported structural damage in the province of Caraveli in Arequipa.

"Houses have fallen, walls have fallen, especially those made out of adobe," Santiago Neyra, a town mayor in the region, told RPP radio. "But there has been no report of a loss of human life."

A local resident of Acari said on RPP radio that a hill had crumbled - blocking a highway.

The quake shook buildings in the capital of Lima 313 miles (504 kms) away, Reuters witnesses said.

Operations at Freeport's Cerro Verde <CVE.LM> mine in Arequipa were "normal" after the quake, said union leader Jesus Revilla.

No tsunami alert has been issued, according to the head of Peru's National Institude of Civil Defense Alfredo Murgueytio.

Onemi, Chile's national emergency service, said the quake was also felt in northern Chile, but no damage was reported.
© Thomson Reuters 2013


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