Peru earthquake: Huge magnitude 8 tremor strikes near major city.


A huge magnitude 8 earthquake has struck in northern Peru the biggest in the world so far this year.
Tremors were felt more than 600 miles away in neighbouring Ecuador, with shocked witnesses describing buildings shaking as a result of the huge quake. Colombia and Brazil were also affected, experts have confirmed, and a Peruvian pop star has shared footage of lights shaking during a concert as the drama unfolded. It happened shortly after 2.40am local time. The epicentre was in Loreto, in the Amazon Rainforest, around 110 miles east of the regional capital of Moyobamba, and at a depth of around 65 miles. It is not yet known if there are any casualties. An estimated 140,000 people live within 60 miles of the epicentre. Singer Ezio, who was performing in the city of Rioja, shared a clip with his 370,000 followers, stating: "I just had one of the biggest scares of my life, the earthquake surprised us at the concert and I just want to thank the people of Rioja for their excellent reaction."I saw how some helped others and thank God there was no one injured in the concert."Initially, the United States Geological Survey reported it as a 7.5 magnitude quake but shortly afterwards upgraded it to 8.0. Some felt the tremors lasting for around three minutes, according to reports in Peru. British student Leith Livingstone, who was in Montana, Ecuador, said: "I got woken up at the approx 2.40am local time with the building I'm in shaking heavily back and forth the bed was being moved with it."I wasn't sure what was going on till everyone came in and said it was an earthquake."The shaking lasted at least a minute!"Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra posted on Twitter: "The strong earthquake that occurred this morning was felt in several regions of the country. We're evaluating the affected areas."To all our citizens, I ask you to remain calm."Journalist Jared Wade, who is in the Peruvian capital Lima, posted on Twitter: "Major earthquake in Peru. Woke up with bed shaking, light fixture swaying in Lima, where everything seems OK."He added that extended shaking was felt "from Bogotá to Ica to Cuenca".Mr Wade described the quake as "quite scary".Authorities say around 180,000 people felt very strong shaking in the aftermath of the quake. Power cuts have been reported across the country, with water supply affected homes in Alto Amazonas. People in areas around the epicentre, including Cajamarca and Huánuco, remained outside their homes for hours after the disaster, fearful of more tremors. Hundreds of miles away the ground was felt shaking and buildings moved because of the earthquake, which lasted for around two minutes. One person in the Colombian capital Bogota, which is more than 600 miles north of the epicentre, said: "The whole hotel was shaking."And another witness in Trujillo, Peru, nearly 500km away, wrote: "It lasted a long time with a final shake."American Tum Wuttke wrote on Twitter: "Totally felt that earthquake from a 9th-floor hotel room in Lima, Peru. Lasted about a minute."In February a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck close to Palora, in Equador. Another of the same strength was reported in Papua New Guinea earlier this month. Five hundred people were killed in a tremor in August 2007. Peru is in the Pacific's so-called "Ring of Fire", where earthquakes happen frequently."Intermediate-depth earthquakes represent deformation within subducted slabs rather than at the shallow plate interface between subducting and overriding tectonic plates."They typically cause less damage on the ground surface above their foci than is the case with similar-magnitude shallow-focus earthquakes, but large intermediate-depth earthquakes may be felt at a great distance from their epicentres."It said a 7.5 magnitude quake in the same region caused five deaths, around 70 injuries and "significant damage" in the surrounding area.