Incredibly Powerful 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake Jolts Northern Peru

Peruvian capital LIMA — A preliminary magnitude 7.5 earthquake rocked northern Peru early Sunday, destroying multiple structures and closing several highways with debris.

While the quake was incredibly powerful, it was somewhat deep — 112 kilometers (70 miles) — which typically minimizes damage and deaths.

The tremor struck at 5:52 a.m. and the epicenter was 42 kilometers (26 miles) northwest of Barranca in the Amazon area. According to the US Geological Survey, it had 7.5 magnitudes.

Walter Culqui, the mayor, told Peru’s RPP radio that a section of a 16th-century cathedral in Peru’s Amazon region fell, injuring three persons.

Falling stones shut down multiple roads in Peru’s Amazonas and Cajamarca provinces, and the earthquake was felt over 800 kilometers (500 miles) distant in the city of Lima when several residents fled their houses in fear.

A church in neighboring Ecuador’s Loja municipality was also partially damaged. Additionally, portions of Colombia and Brazil were affected by the quake.

Peru is prone to earthquakes due to its location inside the Pacific Ring of Fire, which accounts for 85 percent of the planet’s seismic activity.