LIMA – Peru has declared a state of emergency in the rural localities of Paruro Province in Cuzco, which were struck by a magnitude-5.1 earthquake, leaving eight people dead, five injured and 530 reported missing.
Peruvian President Ollanta Humala visited the affected areas on Sunday along with the ministers of housing, health, and transport and communications before declaring the 90-day state of emergency to be able to act quickly in the affected areas.
The president said that he had come with the intention of “supporting the population and helping them to tackle this problem.”
Humala announced that the government would use a part of the fund of 3 billion soles (just over $1 billion) intended for disaster prevention to deal with the emergency in Paruro.
“This will serve to meet precisely these necessities,” he said.
The leader also said that he had received a telephone call from Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who expressed her “solidarity and willingness to extend any kind of support to help these communities.”
“I publicly express my gratitude for this concern... I believe that it is an expression of, despite the circumstances, the relationship that two sister nations must maintain,” he said.
The earthquake caused extensive damage due to its shallow depth, according to Peru’s Geophysical Institute.
The rural areas of Miscu and Cusi Bamba Bajo were the most affected by the disaster.
While several people died or were injured in the former, about 230 people were reported missing in the latter, out of a total of 530.