Peru quake: president pledges support to those affected by 7.5-magnitude tremor

Keiko Fujimori has moved to assure residents that they are in good hands in the wake of the powerful tremor in the south-west of the country

Peru’s president has pledged support for those affected by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck in the south-west of the country, which displaced more than 5,000 people.

Keiko Fujimori told reporters on Saturday she had contacted the affected governor and mayor of Magdalena and told them they were in good hands.

The president also thanked people who had rushed to aid the poor in Tacna, one of the region hardest hit by the quake. She added that she would be meeting early next week with federal officials to check the needs of the region.

The epicentre of the earthquake was in the Moron region, about 90km (56 miles) from Tacna, which is the capital of the region and has about 110,000 inhabitants. No fatalities or serious damage has been reported.

The US Geological Survey said the quake, which struck at 2.58pm local time, had a depth of 17km.

No severe damage was reported from the quake, which shook buildings in Peru’s cities and caused panic in districts around Tacna.

The largest earthquake to strike Peru in the past 40 years, the shock shook the country out of a quiescence as the region had been hit by several strong tremors in recent months.

The latest tremor comes a week after a 6.4-magnitude quake struck along the southern coast.

The head of Peru’s national seismological institute, Luis Lavigne, said the latest tremor shook the region as a result of a fault line that runs through the region, which was the strongest for almost 50 years.

Major earthquakes in the area have a record of causing major problems in the oil and gas industry in Peru, which is located on the “Ring of Fire”, a series of seismic faults that crisscross the Pacific Ocean.

The area, some 600km (373 miles) off the Pacific coast, also has been prone to deadly tsunamis. A tsunami measuring 9.3 metres (31 feet) was recorded off the coast of Peru in 1973.

Since 2013 more than 15,000 people have been killed in Peru after a series of quakes caused landslides that buried villages.

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