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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Default Peru earthquake kills at least 337, injures 1,350

    Peru earthquake kills at least 337, injures 1,350

    (CNN) -- A 7.9-magnitude earthquake centered off Peru's coast killed at least 337 people and left another 1,350 hurt, the nation's Health Ministry said Thursday.

    The two-minute quake struck Wednesday evening and was followed by a tiny, 1-foot tsunami and strong aftershocks that sent people running into the streets.

    "It was chaos," said Fernando Calderon, a visiting American. "Everybody started crying -- kids, everybody. Everybody started running toward any empty space. Everybody was afraid the buildings were going to collapse."

    President Alan Garcia said the worst destruction appeared to be in Canete, Chincha and Ica, where he declared a state of emergency. Video Watch emergency crews respond

    "This has been the most terrifying experience we've had," said Gladys
    Tarnawiecki from her home in Lima. "It was extremely long. ... Never in my life had I experienced this long an earthquake."

    Many people were outside in the streets, she said, as radio reports warned of aftershocks that could follow. Tarnawiecki said she was waiting in her car, afraid to go back inside.

    The government has closed schools, said Labor Minister Susana Pinilla Cisneros, who announced that Lima's Labor Ministry and other public buildings had sustained damage.

    The shaking broke windows in Lima and interrupted mobile phone service.

    Panamericana TV showed footage of traffic lights in Lima swaying with the quake. In its immediate aftermath, the broadcast showed medics tending to a woman, along with chunks of plaster that had fallen from buildings. Some Lima residents were sobbing after the temblor, while others appeared to be praying.

    Residents of inland towns felt the earthquake strongly, and it was also felt in cities near the coast and the mountains.

    The coastal town of Pisco, about 160 miles (258 kilometers) south of Lima, appeared to be the hardest-hit, and electricity was out in the town, said Gen. Luis Palomino, head of the Peru's national civil defense institute. He said he could not confirm any deaths.

    The quake struck at 6:41 p.m. (7:41 p.m. ET) and was centered 25 miles (40 kilometers) west-northwest of Chincha Alta and 90 miles (145 kilometers) south-southeast of Lima, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was 25 miles (40 kilometers) below the Earth's surface.

    The major quake prompted a tsunami warning, issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, for Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia, and a tsunami watch for Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and Honduras.

    Those warnings later were canceled, along with a tsunami advisory issued for Hawaii, the center said.

    A tsunami was generated by the quake, but it was not large enough to be damaging to the Central or South American coast, said Gerard Fryer with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

    A Chilean buoy about 440 miles (708 kilometers) from the quake site recorded a wave surge of about a foot after the quake. That foot could grow exponentially in shallower water as it approaches shore, said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

    More than 11 smaller earthquakes occurred in the hours following the original temblor -- most a few miles from its epicenter, but some also in central Peru. Their magnitudes ranged from 5.0 to 6.3.

    Peru, and most of the South American Pacific coast, are on the border of two tectonic plates, the South American plate, which sits beneath the entire continent and extends across the Atlantic about halfway to Africa, and the Nazca plate, which extends across the Pacific along most of the coast.

    In October 2005, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake centered in Pakistan killed nearly 75,000 people in Pakistan and India. That quake's epicenter was only six miles (9.6 kilometers) below the Earth's surface. Earthquakes centered closer to the Earth's surface produce stronger shaking and generally can cause more damage than those farther underground
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  2. #2
    Eruption Kevy5150's Avatar
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    07.12.08 @ 03:41 PM
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    I've been through quite a few earthquakes in my lifetime but I can't imagine a 7.9 on the scale. Pretty f'n wild.

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium mistere's Avatar
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    07.11.09 @ 02:27 AM
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    Makes the one we had a week ago look like a Miami Bass quake.
    Also makes you wonder what's gonna happen to next the West coast
    and where those damn quakes will strike next.



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