By Marco Aquino
-An 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook the remote Amazon region of northern Peru early on Sunday and was felt as far as Lima in the center of the country and southern Ecuador, causing damage to homes near the epicenter with no casualties reported.
The seismological center of the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) said the earthquake had a depth of 131 kilometers (81 miles) and that the epicenter was 98 kilometers from the town of Santa Maria de Nieva in the province of Condorcanqui.
The quake was felt throughout central and northern Peru. Some residents left their homes as a precaution, according to local radio and television reports.
No damage was reported to the 1,100-kilometer oil pipeline of state-owned Petroperu that crosses the Peruvian Amazon region to the Pacific coast in the north.
Walter Culqui, mayor of the town of Jalca Grande in Chachapoyas province, said several houses had been damaged, leaving three non-serious injuries. Part of the church tower in the area collapsed, he said.
In neighboring Ecuador, the quake was felt in 19 of 24 provinces, with damage to some homes but no injuries reported, according to the National Service for Risk and Emergency Management of Ecuador.
Peru’s National Civil Defense Institute (Indeci) said in a statement that in the Amazon districts of Valera, San Jeronimo and Leimebamba the earthquake “has caused damage to an as yet undetermined number of homes.”
Through social networks, electricity cuts were reported in several locations in jungle areas. Local TV images showed stretches of roads blocked by huge rocks and dirt that had been knocked loose.
The U.S. warning system said there was no tsunami warning after the earthquake.