Latin America & Caribbean

Peru earthquake kills eight in Andes village

Rescue workers remove debris at a street in Paruro after an earthquake hit on 28 September, 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Eight people are confirmed to have died in the earthquake

At least eight people have died in an earthquake in southern Peru, officials announced on Sunday.

The 4.9-magnitude quake hit the Cusco region in the early hours of Sunday.

Worst affected was the remote Andean village of Misca, where 45 homes collapsed killing four children and four adults, emergency workers said.

The authorities have declared a state of emergency and President Ollanta Humala has said his government will help rebuild the village.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The quake struck at 22:35 local time on Saturday (04:35BST Sunday) when most villagers were asleep
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The adobe houses were not able to withstand the tremor

President Humala said the village, 90% of which was damaged, had been erected on a geological fault line and should be reconstructed elsewhere following a thorough study of the area.

Many of the homes in the village were made of adobe, a mixture of mud and straw.

Among the buildings that collapsed was an 18th-Century church.

President Humala said emergency workers had managed to clear the road leading to the village and a plane had been able to land in the area to drop off tents and blankets.

A nearby copper mine was not affected, a spokesperson for the company running it said.

Earthquakes are common in Peru, with the Nazca and South American tectonic plates located near its coast.

In 2007, more than 500 people were killed in Peru's coastal province of Ica when a 7.9-magnitude undersea earthquake struck.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the epicentre of Sunday's quake was 19km (12 miles) southwest of the town of Urcos at a depth of 42km.

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