Peru’s Colca Valley Hit by 5.3-Magnitude Quake, Four Dead

  • Temblor struck Sunday night in Arequipa in the south of Peru
  • An American tourist staying in the area is among those killed

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck late Sunday in the Colca Valley of southern Peru, killing four people and injuring 68, the government said.

More than 600 homes collapsed and hundreds more were damaged during the temblor at 9:58 p.m. local time, the civil defense agency Indeci said on its website Monday. Arequipa state Governor Yamila Osorio earlier put the number of dead at nine, and later reduced it to four, matching Indeci’s count.

Worst affected were villages along the Colca River, which runs through what is one of the world’s deepest canyons and is an area popular with hikers. A 66-year-old American tourist staying at a hotel in Yanque district was among the victims, government news agency Andina reported.

Military helicopters transported the injured to the state capital, Arequipa, while loaders moved rocks and boulders blocking roads in the area, Andina said. The earthquake’s epicenter was close to Chivay, about 850 kilometers (528 miles) south east of Lima, Indeci said.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was in the state capital Sunday to participate in celebrations for the anniversary of 476 years since its founding.

On Aug. 15, 2007, the neighboring state of Ica was hit by a 7.9-magnitude quake, the worst in four decades, killing almost 600 people.

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