Strong quake felt in south Peru; houses topple but no deaths

LIMA, Peru (AP) " A strong, shallow earthquake struck a sparsely populated area in Peru's southern Andes near Lake Titicaca on Thursday, toppling some adobe houses but apparently causing no casualties, authorities said.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 6.3 and said its epicenter was about 26 miles (43 kilometers) northeast of Huarichancara in Peru's Puno region. The USGS said it had a depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers).

On its website, the regional newspaper Los Andes said the quake was felt in the provinces of San Roman, Melgar and Lampa.

The Civil Defense department said that some houses made of adobe collapsed in the towns of Lampa and Melgar. Resident Rosario Bustinza said a crack had appeared in one of the towers of the 17th century Santiago Apostol church in Lampa.

In Juliaca, the most important commercial city in Peru's altiplano, the quake rattled residents.

"It was felt, but we haven't heard of any material damages," a Juliaca resident, Ernesto Quispe, said by telephone.

Earthquakes are common in Peru, which is home to a major stretch of the Andes and is on the Pacific's Ring of Fire.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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