Fifteen people were injured and at least 100 structures suffered significant damage as a result of Sunday morning’s 8.0 magnitude earthquake in northeastern Peru. The quake epicenter was less than 500 kilometers from the Ecuadorian border.
Ecuador’s risk management service said that none of the injuries treated in hospitals were life-threatening and that nine were “panic attacks.”
According to risk management, five houses were destroyed in Zamora Chinchipe Province and many other suffered serious damage. Of the public and church buildings affected by the tremor, the most serious damage occurred to the church in Gonzanamá in Loja Province when the bell tower collapsed.
Alexandra Ocles, Ecuador risk and emergency management director, reported that national police and emergency management personnel as well as local authorities continue to make a damage audit and that further information will be provided Tuesday.
Near Cuenca, damage was reported to houses in Cumbe and Sigsig, which suffered partial wall collapses.
Peru reported one death and 11 injuries, crediting the low count to the remoteness and depth of the earthquake.
Sunday’s quake and the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in February in Pastaza Province are two of the three most powerful earthquakes in the world so far in 2019. The Pastaza quake is tied with a May event in New Guinea at 7.5 magnitude.
“The Peruvian and Ecuadorian earthquakes, which occurred within 800 kilometers of each other, are unusual in their strength,” the U.S. Geological Survey said Sunday in an agency memo. “The area where they occurred is generally considered more stable and rarely experiences events of more than 4.5 magnitude.”