Peru has announced three days of mourning for the victims of Wednesday’s powerful earthquake. Some 500 people were killed, and more than a thousand injured in the tremor. President Alan Garcia visited some of the worst-hit areas, and declared a state of emergency. The quake, measuring 7,9 on the Richter Scale, hit Ica province, south of the capital Lima. Most of the victims died there.
Supplies of food and clothing were beginning to arrive. They are desperately needed as Peru is in the grip of a cold winter. Rescue worker Alfredo Fortunic said it was hard getting to the worst-hit areas, because roads were blocked. Doctors set up makeshift medical centres, because hospitals were overwhelmed by the large numbers of wounded. The President said it was a miracle more had not been killed. In 1970, more than 50,000 people died in Peru’s worst-ever earthquake.