Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Hits Coast of Southern Peru

Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Hits Coast of Southern Peru

A huge natural disaster off south-western Peru's Pacific coast has killed at least one person and injured at least 65, as buildings collapsed.

Peru's government Geophysical Institute said the natural disaster was of magnitude-6.7 with its epicentre in the coastal town of Lomas, in the southern region of Arequipa.

The quake hit at 0918 GMT at a depth of around 10 km (6 miles), the USGS said, Reuters reported.

INDECI also said that 65 had been injured in the quake. The epicenter was 42 kilometers (26 miles) south-southwest of Acari.

"The victim reportedly found in Bella Union has not been confirmed", Chavez said.

Peru's health minister said 17 people were missing after an informal mine east of the coastal city of Chala collapsed following the quake.

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Arequipa Governor Yamila Osorio said adobe houses had collapsed in some areas and landslides were blocking some roads.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said that "hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts".

In 2007 an natural disaster killed hundreds in the region of Ica in the country's south.

Peru is the world's number 2 copper producer, although numerous mines in the south are located far inland from the coastal region where the quake struck.

The quake was also felt in northern Chile, Peru's southern neighbour.

No damage or casualties have been reported.

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