A moderate 5.2 magnitude earthquake in Peru killed at least nine people and left 40 injured, crushing villagers under rubble and blocking roads, officials said on Tuesday.
The quake knocked down about 50 homes and cut off roads and power in the southern Arequipa region.
The governor of Arequipa, Yamila Osorio said on the radio that three people were reported killed in Achoma and six in another village, Yanque.
“It was tragic. They got wounded people out as best they could,” said Yanque resident John Rivera on RPP radio.
“There were no lights, no beds. The electricity has got cut off. We still have water but we don’t know what will happen next.”
Earthquakes are fairly common in Peru but this one hit at a shallow depth of eight kilometers yesterday night so damage could be heavy near the epicenter.
The epicenter was 10 kilometers from the city of Chivay, capital of Caylloma province, according to the Geophysical Institute of Peru.
Two aftershocks hit this morning.
The quake caused damage throughout an area of Arequipa called the Colca Valley, and several villages have been cut off.
“We felt a very strong tremor. It has caused devastation in the whole Colca valley,” the mayor of Caylloma, Romulo Tinta, told RPP radio.
“We have no communication links between the surrounding villages,” he added. “We are asking for heavy machinery to gain access.”
Osorio called for food and clothing to be airlifted to people left homeless by the quake.
“We are taking aid to Caylloma and the other districts affected by the earthquake,” Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said in a message on Twitter.