From Andean Adventures:
Earthquake Strikes the Peruvian Coast
A powerful earthquake hit the coast of Peruvian early on Wednesday evening, local time. The US Geological Survey reported that the epicentre was some 145 kilometres off the Pacific coast, southeast of Lima, and the most seriously affected area is the province of Ica, with extensive damage caused to the towns of Pisco (60 kilometres from the epicentre), Chincha and the regional capital of Ica.
Two tremors, each lasting approximately twenty seconds, were felt, measuring 7.9 and 7.5 on the Richter scale.
First reports indicate that 337 people were killed by the quake, with all but one of the deaths occurring in the department of Ica. Seventeen people were killed in the town of Ica when the church of Señor de Luren collapsed on the congregation during evening mass. Although some buildings collapsed in the capital, Lima (where one third of the country’s population lives), only one death was reported.
Some sections of the Pan-American Highway are closed to traffic still, and Pisco airport is being used to coordinate government efforts to assist those whose homes were damaged by the quake.
No foreigner nationals have been listed among the dead, and no Andean Adventures passengers or staff were affected by the quake. Nevertheless, I am sure I speak for us all when I say that our thoughts go out to all those affected.
In the coming days and weeks we will keep all our overseas clients informed of developments in the department of Ica and the operability of the area as infrastructure is restored.