LIMA, Aug. 15 (UPI) — At least nine people have died and 40 have been injured in southern Peru after a magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck near the town of Chivay. One of the victims was a U.S. citizen.
The earthquake occurred at a depth of 6.2 miles at about 10 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Emergency aid, including mobile shelters, has been deployed to affected areas.
Authorities are searching for survivors after the earthquake destroyed at least 80 homes in Peru’s Arequipa region. The epicenter of the quake was about 4 miles west of Chivay in Peru’s Caylloma province.
The districts worst affected are Ichupampa, Yanque, Achoma and Maca.
“We are bringing aid to Caylloma and its districts affected by the earthquake,” Peruvian President Pedro Pable Kuczynski said, adding that Vice President Martín Vizcarra will travel to the affected areas and that the Ministry of Defense will also send aid.
Kuczynski recently visited the region after freezing temperatures caused damage.
Arequipa state Gov. Yamila Osorio, told RPP Noticias on Monday at least nine people have been killed, dozens injured and at least 80 homes have been destroyed. A 66-year-old American has been identified as one of the victims, Civil defense agency Indeci said.
Osorio said recovery efforts have been hampered by the rugged, mountainous terrain of the region.
The quake in Peru occurred on the ninth anniversary of the country’s last major quake, an 8.0 quake that killed more than 500 people, according to the USGS.