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Powerful quake rattles remote area of Peru
by Staff Writers
Lima (AFP) Aug 24, 2011

A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook eastern Peru on Wednesday and was felt more than 300 miles (480 kilometers) away in the capital Lima as well as in neighboring Ecuador and Brazil.

Seismologists from the US Geological Survey said the epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 1746 GMT, was 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Pucallpa, a city isolated by the Andes and the Amazon rainforest.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties and the US government's Pacific warning center said no destructive tsunami was created after the quake, which was deep at 90 miles (145 kilometers) underground.

Guillermo Alvizuri, head of Peru's civil defense operations, said the authorities were trying to contact remote places like Contamana, a town of 17,000 inhabitants deep in the Amazon and close to the epicenter.

"So far we do not have reports of any material damage or casualties," Alvizuri told local media. "At the moment, no major cities have reported any damage, neither has Pucallpa."

"It was felt strongly but no damage was reported, except for some telephone lines which were cut."

AFP journalists in Lima said they felt light tremors in the capital and authorities in neighboring Ecuador and Brazil said the quake was also felt there, but again there were no reports of material damage or casualties.

On August 15, 2007, an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 devastated the Peruvian province of Ica, just south of Lima, killing some 600 people and causing extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure.

In 2009, more than 140 earthquakes with magnitudes of 4.0 and above were felt in Peru, which is located on a vast arc geologists call the Pacific Ring of Fire due to its intense seismic activity.


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Washington assesses damage from rare east coast quake
Washington (AFP) Aug 24, 2011
Washington's iconic monuments were off-limits to disappointed tourists and schools around the region were also shuttered Wednesday, as authorities assessed the damage from a rare US east coast earthquake the previous day. Officials announced that the Washington Monument, one of the most recognizable symbols of the US capital city, would be closed to visitors indefinitely after cracks were fo ... read more

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