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Death toll at 113 in Peru floods, mudslides; while 6.2 quake rumbles
by Staff Writers
Lima (AFP) April 18, 2017


6.2 earthquake shakes Peru: institute
Lima (AFP) April 18, 2017 - A strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake shook a rural area in northern Peru on Tuesday but no damage was immediately reported, the country's Geophysical Institute said.

The quake struck at 1749 GMT in the sparsely populated Loreto region at a depth of 142 kilometers, the institute's director Hernando Tavera said on the radio.

Officials said residents in towns in Peru and neighboring Ecuador evacuated buildings and took precautionary measures but emergency services reported no damage.

The quake was also felt in Colombia, the Red Cross and authorities there said.

Peru sits on the so-called Ring of Fire, an earthquake-prone zone spanning the Pacific.

The death toll from flooding and mudslides plaguing Peru since the start of the year has risen to 113 people, including five killed last weekend, officials said Tuesday.

The natural disasters, which scientists blame on a climate phenomenon called "coastal El Nino," have also left more than 178,000 people homeless, the National Center for Emergency Operations said in its latest update.

Another one million people's homes have been partly damaged, and more than 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) of roads have been destroyed.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has said the South American country will need some $9 billion to rebuild and modernize the affected areas.

Heavy rains have been lashing Peru all year, triggering flash floods and landslides known in the indigenous Quechua language as "huaycos."

The problem has also struck Colombia, where three rivers flooded and sent a wall of mud and boulders smashing into the southern town of Mocoa on March 31, killing 323 people, including more than 100 children, according to a new toll Tuesday.

Scientists say the extreme weather is being caused by a localized warming of the Pacific Ocean along the South American coast.

It causes effects similar to the "El Nino" ocean warming phenomenon that wreaks havoc on weather patterns in the Americas every few years.

SHAKE AND BLOW
At least 35 dead in Iran floods; Quake rattles northern Chile
Tehran (AFP) April 15, 2017
At least 35 people were killed and eight declared missing as flash floods hit northwestern Iran, state media reported on Saturday. "Thirty-five people have been killed in the floods" across four provinces, the head of Iran's emergency response organisation, Esmail Najar, told the ISNA news agency. Torrential rains that began on Friday lashed East Azerbaijan province, with state televisio ... read more

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