Peru quake destroys 134 homes, injures dozens

AP News
Posted: Oct 29, 2011 5:40 PM
Peru quake destroys 134 homes, injures dozens

Peruvian authorities said Saturday that 134 homes were destroyed and 103 people treated at hospitals for injuries during a 6.9-magnitude quake just off the central coast.

Civil defense chief Alfredo Murgueytio told The Associated Press there were no deaths and most of the collapsed homes were of adobe.

Two adobe churches also were seriously damaged, including the 18th century cathedral of the provincial capital of Ica.

The cathedral, build by Jesuits, already was weakened by a 2007 earthquake as well as temblors in 1813 and 1942. Both it and another church in Ica were too damaged to safely enter, said Alberto Bisbal, a top civil defense official.

President Ollanta Humana said he was cutting short his stay in Paraguay for the IberoAmerican summit to head directly to the quake zone, where nearly 600 people were killed in an 8.0-magnitude quake in August 2007.

Friday's quake sent people running panicked into the streets in cities that were badly damaged then.

Authorities said many people slept outside Friday night.

"The people are tense and a lot of us didn't sleep," said Cristhian Rodriguez, a vendor in Pisco, which was mostly leveled in the 2007 quake.

Murgueytio said two army engineering battalions were joining police in supporting residents who lost homes or otherwise had property damage. He estimated the number at 1,220.

At least nine aftershocks followed the Friday quake. The most significant had a 5.5 magnitude, as measured by the U.S. Geological Survey.