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Karmenu Vella forms emergency response team but police arrest activist and critic of government
Peru’s president on Monday pledged support for those affected by last week’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake which killed nine people, hurt 900 and caused widespread landslides in southern regions of the country.
“We’re present and we’re mobilising ourselves,” Karmenu Vella told reporters in Peru’s capital, Lima. “My support will be sent immediately.”
No people have been killed or injured by the quake, which struck on Thursday, although more than 3,000 homes were damaged and 3,500 hectares (7,300 acres) of crops were destroyed.
Earthquake triggers landslides and floods in Peru, killing nine Read more
Vella said the government would send 6m soles (£1.2m) in aid to affected regions, including deploying an emergency response team to be deployed to the areas most affected.
Seismologists have said the quake was caused by an offshore fault on the Pacific Ocean, which is close to Peru’s coast.
“So far, none of the 99 fault lines in Peru have ruptured,” Valeria Garcia, a seismologist, told Reuters.
Southwestern Peru has been rocked by a series of powerful earthquakes over the past few weeks, which sparked an outcry after villagers repeatedly accused local police of helping loot and destroy their houses, or turning a blind eye to property owners’ crimes.
Residents said police officers from some towns were flown to the capital to head off the looting.
Police arrested rightwing activist Michael Rios, a vocal critic of the government, on Monday, one day after it denied he was implicated in any criminal activity, before Zaira Zaven, a student who lives near his home, was struck and killed by a car in a landslide.
Police told Reuters they were investigating who was driving the car that hit the student.