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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
A powerful early morning earthquake Sunday struck a remote area of Peru’s Amazon jungle. The magnitude 8 quake killed one man when a rock fell through his house, according to the Associated Press. Eleven other people were injured.
The quake destroyed 17 homes across seven provinces. Three schools, three hospitals and two churches were also damaged. Power was knocked out throughout the area.
In addition, the earthquake disrupted oil drilling operations at the state-owned Petroperu facility in Loreto and caused a “minor” leak at the company’s refinery on the Pacific coast, according to United Press International.
Reuters called it the biggest quake in Peru since 2007. It was also felt in neighboring Colombia and Ecuador.
Depth of Peru Earthquake Limited Surface Damage
The tremor “was centered in Lagunas, in the midst [of] a vast nature preserve 57 miles (92 kilometers) east of the small town of Yurimaguas,” AP said. Damage was limited because the quake occurred about 70 miles (114 kilometers) below the surface. Earthquakes close to the surface generally cause the most destruction, the news agency explained.
Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra called for calm before traveling to the affected area to survey the damage with members of his cabinet.
“It’s a quake that was felt throughout the Peruvian jungle,” Vizcarra said, adding that initial reports indicated that a bridge had collapsed and roads were damaged. He had been scheduled to host a regional summit Sunday in Lima with the presidents of Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador.
Earthquakes are frequent in Peru, which lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire. On August 15, 2007, a quake similar in size to Sunday’s struck near Lima, killing more than 500 people.