The PoliBlog

The Collective
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via CNN: Major earthquake strikes Peru; tsunami warning issued

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck off the coast of central Peru on Wednesday evening, prompting a tsunami warning for that country, as well as Chile, Ecuador and Colombia.


The quake was felt for two minutes, according to Peruvian media.

Wow–having been in quakes, I can attest that that is a loooong time. Indeed, it strikes me as an exaggeration, even for a quake of this intensity.

Here are the details:

The quake struck at 6:41 p.m. (7:41 p.m. ET) and was centered 25 miles (61 kilometers) west-northwest of Chincha Alta, Peru, and 90 miles (161 kilometers) south-southeast of Lima, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was 25 miles (47 kilometers) below the Earth’s surface.

More tremors followed. A magnitude 5.8 quake occurred at 7:02 p.m. (8:02 p.m. ET). It was further inland, centered 70 miles (113 kilometers) northeast of Chincha Alta and 111 miles (179 kilometers) east-southeast of Lima.

And at 7:19 p.m., another smaller quake of 5.9 magnitude occurred, centered 30 miles (48 kilometers) south-southwest of Ica, Peru, and 180 miles (290 kilometers) south-southeast of Lima.

Yikes–that is a lot of shaking.

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Filed under: Latin America | |


  1. USGS says it was a 7.9.

    And, yes, 2 minutes is probably an exaggeration. I know from being even 50 miles or so from a 7.2, that the shaking sure SEEMS to go on a long time.

    Comment by MSS — Wednesday, August 15, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

  2. […] To get the detail, go HERE.or HERE. […]

    Pingback by FreeRyanToday » Blog Archive » Quake Strikes Peru — Wednesday, August 15, 2007 @ 9:56 pm

  3. Sorry, my dad has been watching this closely cause he loves Costa Rica ( He want to retire there) and first of all they have uped it to a 7.9. Secondly, they said that the Earthquake itself wasn’t the shaking that they felt at the beginning, and the rest were something called surface waves. I’m just glad it didn’t trigger a Tsunami.

    Comment by Toki-chan — Wednesday, August 15, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

  4. Hi,
    I know that it sounds a bit ridiculous, but I can assure you that it’s true that the shaking went on for quite a bit. It was a really long quake, not that as loud but the ground continued shaking the entire time that I calmly went downstairs and to the street and it went on for a little while after that when we tried for a while to calm a pretty histerical woman that we had to keep from straying into the middle of the road while freaking out. Most of the media here is also reporting that it went on for about 2 mins. There’s been 3 afterquakes and more are probably expected.

    There’s at least 48 deceased (mainly in Ica) and some 350 injured. I know that in some areas of Lima where buildings are older or closer to the hills it was felt even more than what I felt (I’ve seen lots of panic scenes on the news — 2 of the deceased were from heart attacks), with cracks on walls and broken windows and things falling. Cellphone lines stopped working immediately and landlines only worked if you were lucky, some streets have lost power. School’s been cancelled tomorrow.
    Closer to the epicenter, in Ica, there’s been several collapsed buildings and the power hasn’t come back yet.
    I’m not really sure how much information is on the international media right now, but is being updated constantly.

    Well, everyone I know is fine, if quite a bit nervous. Let’s just hope that things don’t make a turn for the worse.

    Miraflores, Lima, PerĂº.

    Comment by Andrea — Wednesday, August 15, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

  5. Hi
    I am a native of Pisco Peru and I am very sad because the small town I grew up in is now in crumbles.
    Pisco is where General San Martin arrived to begin South America’s emancipation from Spain.It is the cradle of Peru’s flag and it is full of history.
    Most of my memories as a child are resurfacing as a result of this tragedy. As I prepare to go later this year, I have to prepare myself to embrace this town that will never be the same.

    Comment by Lily Leon — Thursday, August 16, 2007 @ 1:03 am

  6. Andrea,

    Thanks for the update. That really is a remarkable (and frightening) tale. I have been in quakes, both in California and Colombia, and know how frightening something of this magnitude must have been.


    I hope that your town is less damaged than you fear.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, August 16, 2007 @ 5:51 am

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