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Strong 7.0-quake hits northern Peru

(Xinhua)

07:57, August 25, 2011

LIMA, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- A powerful earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit northern Peru on Wednesday at 12:46:01 local time (17:46:01 GMT), the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) said.

According to preliminary information, there were no reports of any casualties in the quake, but some damages were seen, Peru's National Institute for Civil Defense said in a preliminary report.

The IGP said that two minor aftershocks were felt within minutes of the quake, which lasted between 5 and 10 seconds.

The epicenter was registered about 550 kilometers northeast of the capital city of Lima and 79 km north of the town of Pucallpa, which is located in the province of Coronel Portillo in the Peruvian Amazon forest close to the Brazilian border, the IGP said.

The IGP said that the epicenter of the quake was recorded at a depth of 149 km and the quake could be felt in the neighboring provinces of Huanuco, Amazonas, San Martin and Loreto, and as far away as Lima.

The quake was also felt in the Ica province along the Brazilian border, the IGP said, adding that telephone lines and electricity to Pucallpa was temporarily cut off.

The Civil Defense Institute of Peru said in its preliminary report that immediately after the quake was felt, the local residents in Pucallpa fled their houses and took up refuge in safe locations, avoiding any fatalities.

The institute said that it is "evaluating the material damage" but gave no further details of the scale of damage.

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