7.5-Magnitude Quake Hits Peru

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A powerful earthquake in northern Peru killed at least one person, destroyed about 100 homes and disrupted electricity and telephone service in much of the region, the civil defense chief said Monday.

The 7.5-magnitude earthquake was felt throughout Peru's northern coast and as far away as Bogota, Colombia, more than 700 miles to the north, and broke windows in towns in Ecuador.

Peru's Geophysics Institute said the quake struck around 9 p.m. Sunday and was centered northeast of the jungle city of Moyobamba, 415 miles north of the capital, Lima. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.5, considered a major earthquake.

One person was confirmed dead in the village of Lamas, near Moyobamba, Civil Defense Chief Rear Adm. Juan Luis Podesta told a radio station. About 100 homes were destroyed, he added.

Civil Defense spokesman Ivan Pisua told The Associated Press that five people were seriously injured in Lamas.

"The quake was felt across Colombia but so far we have received no reports of any injuries or material damage," said Kelly Castano, a spokeswoman for Colombia's National Seismology Center.

The earthquake was also felt strongly in Ecuador, collapsing a house in Yantzasa, 235 miles northwest of Lamas, the Red Cross in Ecuador said, but no deaths or serious injuries were reported.

Electrical power was temporarily lost in Peru's northern coastal city of Chiclayo, 410 miles northwest of Lima. Airline Lan Peru reported that a passenger jet aborted its landing at the Chiclayo airport because there were no lights on the runway. The plane flew directly to Lima.

It was one of the strongest earthquakes in Peru since a devastating 8.1-magitude temblor hit the Arequipa province in southern Peru in June 2001, killing at least 75 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless. A magnitude-7.6 aftershock struck the southern Andes on July 7, 2001, but did not cause injuries or serious damage.