Strong Peru quake causes minor damage and injuries


LIMA– (Reuters) - A magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck off the coast of southern Peru on Friday shook buildings in Lima and injured 83 people near the city of Ica, civil defense officials said on Saturday.

At least 88 homes were destroyed and another 40 were declared uninhabitable as a result of the quake, though no deaths were reported and big mines in the region continued to operate normally.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, initially reported at a magnitude of 7, was centered under the sea 31 miles southwest of Ica, near where a devastating magnitude 8 quake killed more than 500 people in 2007.

Those injured in Friday's quake were mainly treated for bruises and fractures caused by falling debris.

Lost cellphone signals and isolated electricity outages were reported in Ica, and a secondary road was blocked by debris.

Buildings shook in the capital of Lima, about 185 miles north of Ica, but business quickly returned to normal and no tsunami warnings were issued for the Pacific coast.

Shougang Hierro Peru, an iron ore producer that runs the mine closest to the epicenter, said it suffered no damage from the quake.

Southern Copper, a major global mining company, said it was operating normally. Most other major mines in Peru, a leading global metals exporter, are located farther away from the quake zone.

(Reporting by Lima newsroom; Editing by Paul Simao)