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Strong Earthquake Hits Northern Peru Near Brazil

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LIMA, Peru — A strong but deep earthquake shook a sparsely populated northern jungle region on Wednesday near Brazil's border. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.0 and was centered 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of the jungle city of Pucallpa, said Peru's Geophysical Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey.

It was felt mildly in the capital, Lima. But in Pucallpa, buildings shook, trees swayed, and people headed out into the street. The agencies said the quake struck at 12:46 p.m. local time (1:46 p.m. EDT; 1746 GMT), centered 90 miles (145 kilometers) underground. The deeper the quake, the less it is likely to cause damage.

An unidentified local woman interviewed by Peru's Canal N television station said the earth swayed "like a hammock."

"A great rattling" is how Pucallpa police official Angela Romero described it.

She said people moved calmly into the street.

A police spokesman in the Brazilian town of Cruzeiro do Sul, about 135 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Pucallpa, said the quake hit hard and buildings trembled. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to comment publicly.

An official of Peru's Institute of Geophysics said that because of its depth, the quake only felt like a 5-magnitude quake to Pucallpa's residents. The official was not allowed to be identified by name.

Peru is among the world's most seismically active countries.

Its most recent deadly quake occurred on Aug. 15, 2007. The 7.9-magnitude temblor killed 596 people and largely destroyed the coastal city of Pisco just south of Lima.

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