LIMA, Peru (NWN) – A strong earthquake with an initial magnitude of 7.5 struck northern Peru, the US Geological Survey says.
The earthquake struck at 5:52 a.m. (1052 GMT) on Sunday local time. Although it was extremely strong, it was relatively deep, – measured at 112 km – which usually minimized damage and casualties.
The epicenter of the quake was 42 kilometers (26 mi) northwest of the coastal city of Barranca.
A 14-metre tower in a preserved four-century-old church collapsed shortly after a 7.5-degree earthquake recorded Sunday in northern Peru, according to local media and eyewitnesses.
Videos and photos posted online showed the historic tower, part of a 16th-century complex believed to be the oldest Catholic temple in the Amazonas region, reduced to a pile of stones, although the main atrium still stood appears to be.
Social media posts also showed damage at other places, including a church in southern Ecuador. Earthquake tremors were also felt in Colombia.
The National Civil Defense Institute of the Ministry of Defense in Peru did not immediately report damage or injuries from the quake.
Earthquakes are common in Peru, which lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire, where 85% of the planet’s seismic activity occurs.