Earthquakes strike Chile, Peru
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Earthquakes strike Chile, Peru

California’s Napa Valley wasn’t the only place to feel tremors over the weekend, as several parts of South America’s Pacific coast were hit by earthquakes even more powerful than the one that decimated the 2014 wine harvest.

Before the magnitude 6.0 quake that struck California early on Sunday morning, the Southern Hemisphere had already begun to feel the earth move.

Earthquake-plagued Chile was, unsurprisingly, the first to go, with a magnitude 6.4 tremor hitting the area around the city of Valparaiso on Saturday afternoon local time. Electricity and telephone services were interrupted in some areas, but there were no reports of severe injuries or serious damage, despite the strength of the quake.

Early Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after the California quake, another strong tremor struck South America — this time in Peru. The quake hit at 6:21 p.m. local time about 42 kilometers (27 miles) northeast of a region called Tambo, a sparsely populated area of central Peru. The area where the earthquake struck is about 467 kilomters (290 miles) southeast of Lima.

The U.S. Geological Survey originally reported that the earthquake had a magnitude of 7, but then revised it to 6.9 in a later report. According to Peruvian media reports, the earthquake was felt in the capital of Lima and cities throughout southeastern Peru, including Cuzco and Arequipa, with some outlets reporting it was felt as far away as northern Chile.

Hernando Tavera, seismology director of the Peru Geophysical Institute, reassured residents that, though there might be aftershocks, there was no cause for alarm, and that the two earthquakes were entirely separate.

“What has happened in Chile has no relation to what’s happened in Peru,” Tavera said.

These tremors come less than two weeks after a shallow magnitude 5.1 quake near Quito, the capital of Ecuador, that killed four and damaged dozens of buildings.

Additional reporting by Associated Press