Strong earthquake hits northern Peru

Peru earthquake: The US Geological Survey reports that a quake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has occurred in northern Peru, near the Brazilian border.

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A strong but deep earthquake shook a sparsely populated northern jungle region on Wednesday and was felt mildly in the capital. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 and was centered 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of the jungle city of Pucallpa, near the border with Brazil, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake occurred at 12:46 p.m. local time (1:46 p.m. EDT; 1746 GMT), and occurred 90 miles (145 kilometers) underground, the agency said. The deeper the quake, the less it is likely to cause damage.

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An unidentified local woman interviewed by Peru's Canal N television station said the earth shook "like a hammock."

A police official in the regional capital of Pucallpa, Angela Romero, said there were no indications of damage. "We all went out calmly to the street," she said.

Peru's Institute of Geophysics registered the quake's magnitude at 7, but an official at the institute said that because of its depth, it only felt like a 5-magnitude quake to Pucallpa's residents. The official was not allowed to be identified by name.

Peru is among the world's most seismically active countries.

Its most recent deadly quake occurred on Aug. 15, 2007. The 7.9-magnitude temblor killed 596 people and largely destroyed the coastal city of Pisco just south of Lima, the capital.

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