7.1-magnitude earthquake strikes off Peru

A powerful earthquake struck off Peru’s coast early Sunday, prompting a tsunami alert for parts of the country and neighbouring Chile that was eventually called off.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the temblor had a preliminary magnitude of 7.1.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but the governor of Peru’s Arequipa region, Yamila Osorio, said there was minor damage, including some collapsed roads.

He said people were evacuating homes in Lomas district, where the epicentre was located, 42 kilometres south-southwest of Acari. The earthquake struck at 4:18 a.m. ET at a depth of 36.3 kilometres.

The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center first issued a threat message that “hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts” and that larger-than-normal waves could hit Peru and Chile.

But the centre then said in a later statement that “there is no longer a tsunami threat from this earthquake” and that the centre hadn’t observed any tsunami waves.

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