Hundreds Killed In Peru Earthquake
Ica, Peru - The British Geological Survey has recorded an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 Mw at 23:40 GMT on the 15th of August 2007. This earthquake is located near the coast of Peru, approximately 150 km SSE of Lima. A state of emergency has been declared in the coastal town of Ica, which appears to be the worst affected area. Latest reports suggest that at least 330 people have been killed in Ica, where buildings were destroyed and power supplies have been cut. The earthquake was felt strongly in the capital Lima, where buildings shook and people ran onto the street.
A precautionary tsunami alert was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii but was then withdrawn after analysis of tide-gauges.
Seismologist Dr Roger Musson of the British Geological Survey said: "This earthquake is on an adjacent section of the plate boundary to the earthquake of 23 June 2001, magnitude 8.4 Mw, which killed around 150 people. This earthquake fills a seismic gap between Peru and Chile, which was last active in 1877, to this extent a great earthquake in this location
was expected at some point".
Last night's earthquake locates approximately 550 km south of a magnitude 7.9 Mw earthquake, on 31 May 1970, which killed around 50,000 people.
British Geological Survey
The British Geological Survey (BGS), a component body of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is the nation's principal supplier of objective, impartial and up-to-date geological expertise and information for decision making for governmental, commercial and individual users. The BGS maintains and develops the nation's understanding of its geology to improve policy making, enhance national wealth and reduce risk. It also collaborates with the national and international scientific community in carrying out research in strategic areas, including energy and natural resources, our vulnerability to environmental change and hazards, and our general knowledge of the Earth system. More about the BGS can be found at www.bgs.ac.uk.