World

Two major quakes jolt Peru, neighbours

Lima,November 25: A pair of major 7.6-magnitude earthquakes jolted eastern Peru near its border with Brazil today, and were felt across several South American nations, but authorities had no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The first quake, which struck at 5:45 pm was 601 kilometres deep, according to the US Geological Survey.

It was located about 169 kilometres west-northwest of Iberia and 688 kilometres east-northeast of the capital Lima.

Five minutes later, a second temblor of the same strength rocked the same area but with a different epicentre.

"According to the real-time map there were two magnitude 7.6 in different locations," a USGS official explained. And there were three aftershocks, he added.

Buildings swayed in several Peruvian cities Cuzco, Tacna, Pucallpa and Arequipa as well as in parts of northern Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela, sources said.

"It's such a deep movement that it moves out further, and is felt over a wider area," director of the private weather firm Ambiand.

"So far there have been no reports of damages but we are following this closely," civil defense chief Alfredo Murgueytio told the same network.

The navy ruled out the likelihood of a tsunami.

Peru lies on what is known as the "Ring of Fire" an arc of fault lines that circles the Pacific Basin and is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

But the last major quake in Peru a 7.9 -- struck almost a decade ago on August 15, 2007, and had its epicentre on the central coast, just west of Pisco. It killed 595 people.

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