LIMA – Peruvian President Ollanta Humala visited Tuesday the southern city of Ica and said that “there are no irreparable losses” from the magnitude-6.2 earthquake that struck the area the day before.
“People in Ica are ready for earthquakes – the proof is that not one person died,” Humala, accompanied by first lady Nadine Heredia, said.
The ministers of defense, Alberto Otarola, and of women’s affairs, Ana Jara, who visited the area on Monday, told a press conference that the quake damaged 732 houses and injured around 150 people.
In 2007, a magnitude-7.9 temblor left close to 600 people dead in the Ica region, largely due to the fragile construction of the buildings there.
Humala acknowledged Tuesday that a “debt” remains from the earlier quake because the reconstruction of the region has not yet been finished, though he said the removal of ruins and rubble was almost complete in affected cities like Pisco and Chincha.
The 2006-2011 administration of President Alan Garcia gave vouchers to those left homeless in 2007 to rebuild their homes, and created a recovery fund of more than $1 billion, which was later deactivated amid complaints of corruption.
Ica regional authorities organized protests to denounce Garcia’s government for the poor management of funds intended for the clearing away the wreckage.
In September Humala sent an army mission to remove some 283,000 cubic meters (10 million cubic feet) of rubble from the region. EFE