Less than 24 hours after posting about the increase in Earthquakes worldwide over the past few weeks, tragedy strikes in Peru (Just South of Lima) in the form of a massive 7.9 earthquake. Current reports are suggesting that 337 are dead and thousands are injured.
This was the initial report from The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
At 18:40 local time on 15 August 2007, an earthquake of 7.9 on the Richter scale (source US Geological Survey) hit Peru, with the epicentre 43 km South West of San Vicente de Cañete, south of Lima. Replicas have been felt since this earthquake.
The epicentre was registered 33km below the earth's surface (Geophysics Institute of Peru). The town nearest to the epicentre is Chincha Alta. In Ica, a town also very near the epicentre, preliminary reports are indicating 37 deaths and 300 people injured, and numbers are rising as new information is made available. The Peruvian Civil Defence System (Instituto Nacional de Defensa Civil - INDECI) is currently setting up a situation room to respond to the emergency.
The earthquake caused buildings to shake and hundreds of people to run out into the streets after the tremors were felt in the capital of Lima and towns near the epicentre. There has been damage to buildings and electricity has been cut off in some areas. All flights from the international airport in Lima have been temporarily suspended. As a preventative measure, a tsunami warning was issued for Chile, Colombia Ecuador and Peru by the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics
Shortly after the earthquakes, the President of Peru made a national statement confirming that all national authorities were on high alert to respond to the situation and that all health services and centres must be on red alert, requesting all doctors to make themselves available and for all services to be free of charge for those who may need it.