Peru Quake Toll Reaches 450

More expected as rescuers dig through rubble
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2007 1:59 AM CDT
Residents look for relatives amount bodies of people killed during an earthquake that hit the area late Wednesday, inside a body bag in the town of Pisco, 240 km. ( 150 miles ) south of Lima, Thursday...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The death toll from a powerful earthquake that devastated a province in Peru has reached 450, but the numbers are expected to rise even higher as rescuers dig through rubble. At least 1,500 have been injured. Government doctors have called off a national strike to care for the wounded, and the UN, US and EU have rushed to Peru's aid.

The port city of Pisco 125 miles southeast of Lima was destroyed and 200 worshipers were crushed when the ceiling of a church collapsed.  "The dead are scattered by the dozens on the streets," a sobbing mayor told a Lima radio station. " We don't have lights, water, communications. Churches, stores, hotels—everything is destroyed."