Major earthquake shakes Peru

A magnitude-8 earthquake struck northern Peru’s Amazon rainforest, in a powerful temblor that was felt across the region.

One person died in the quake, which struck at 2:41 a.m. on May 26. The U.S. Geological Survey reported its epicenter was 46 miles from the city of Lagunas.

“We’re evaluating the affected areas. To all our citizens, I ask you to remain calm,” President Martín Vizcarra tweeted.

Vizcarra told Peruvians in a televised address that there had been injuries, and that multiple highways and a bridge collapsed. The damage to road infrastructure will complicate the already difficult task of reaching remote areas affected by the quake.

An image from the FreightWaves SONAR platform shows the three oil refineries potentially impacted by the May 26 earthquake in Peru.

The earthquake’s area of impact included three oil refineries, according to the FreightWaves SONAR platform. Petroperú’s Iquitos and Conchan, and Maple Gas Corp Pucallpa refineries have a combined capacity of 23,250 barrels per day. The companies did not report any immediate damage.

Images from Peruvian authorities showed severe damage to buildings Yurimaguas, a city of more than 60,000 people.

The Ministry of Defense has made aircraft, vehicles and personally available to support relief efforts.

While earthquakes are commonplace in Peru, a magnitude-8 temblor is severe. The last quake of that magnitude occurred along Peru’s central coast in 2017, killing 519 people.

The USGS noted this latest quake was of an “intermediate-depth,” which typically cause less damage.

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Nate Tabak, Canada Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a journalist, editor and producer in Toronto. He covers Canada for FreightWaves, with a keen interest on the cross-border economic relationship with the United States. Nate spent seven years working as an investigative editor and reporter based in Kosovo. He covered everything from corruption to the country’s emerging wine industry. He also reported across the Balkans and investigated Albania’s multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Nate grew up in Berkeley, Calif. He enjoys exploring Toronto with his wife and is always looking forward to his next meal.

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