Magnitude 8 Earthquake Shakes Amazon Jungle

One death, collapsed buildings reported
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 26, 2019 11:01 AM CDT
Magnitude 8 Earthquake Shakes Amazon Jungle
People pass in front a wrecked wall in Yurimaguas, Peru, on Sunday after an earthquake struck the region.   (Firefighters of Peru via AP)

A powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck a remote part of the Amazon jungle in Peru early Sunday, collapsing buildings and knocking out power to some areas but causing only one reported death. The quake struck at 2:41 a.m. and was centered in a vast nature preserve 57 miles east of the small town of Yurimaguas, the AP reports. Helping limit damage was the earthquake's depth, at 70 miles below the surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Earthquakes close to the surface generally cause more destruction. A preliminary survey by authorities found that six people were injured and 27 homes damaged across seven provinces. Three schools, three hospitals and two churches were also affected.

President Martín Vizcarra called for calm before going to survey the damage. "It's a quake that was felt throughout the Peruvian jungle," said Vizcarra, who was scheduled to host a regional summit Sunday in the capital with the presidents of Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador. The chief of the National Emergency Operations Center said one person died when a rock fell on a house in the Huarango district. In Yurimaguas, a bridge and several old houses collapsed, and the electricity was cut, according to the center. Images on social media showed residents in several parts of the country panicked as the quake shook buildings. The quake also awoke people in Lima, who ran out of their homes in fear. "It was a really long quake," said Maria Brito, who lives on the fifth floor of an apartment building in the capital.

(Read more earthquake stories.)

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