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Earthquakes, tremors | May 12, 2011 [ 14:02 ]

Earthquakes affect 76 Peruvians in Lorca, Spain

76 Peruvians live in Lorca. (Photo: Reuters)

A total of 76 Peruvians were affected as a result of the two earthquakes that rocked the Spanish town of Lorca, said the Consulate General of Peru in Valencia, Gloria Nalvarte, noting that those affected have been receiving foreign humanitarian relief organizations, reports El Comercio.

In a telephone interview with the agency Andina, Nalvarte said that no Peruvians have been reported hurt or killed, despite the damage. She says many have lost their homes after the strong quake.

"These Peruvians have been evacuated to two auditoriums set up as places of refuge," said the diplomat. "Our compatriots and other local and foreign victims have been receiving humanitarian relief from NGOs, the city and the government consisting primarily of food and shelter, while the authorities resolve the emergency," she added

She said that the Peruvian Consulate has registered 76 Peruvians currently living in Lorca, but the National Statistics Institute of Spain recorded 130. Nalvarte says it is very likely that many have emigrated to other regions or cities of the country.

The town of Lorca is located 322 kilometers southeast of Valencia.

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Earthquakes, tremors | April 7, 2011 [ 14:05 ]

No tsunami warning for Peru after new Japan quake


No tsunami warning has been issued for the Peruvian coast following the 7.4 magnitude earthquake that shook northern Japan earlier today.

The announcement was made by Navy Capt. Atilio Aste, a spokesman for Peru's National Tsunami Warning System, who said "there is no cause for alarm" in our country due to the new earthquake that shook Japan and the tsunami warning issued in the Asian country.

The analysis of the situation carried out in the country and the international alert systems warned about a possible tsunami, but only on the Japanese coast.

A new 7.4 magnitude earthquake shook Japan at 9 a.m. Lima time (23:24 in Japan) and mainly affected the northeastern province of Miyagi.

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Earthquakes, tremors | March 23, 2011 [ 11:45 ]

4.7-degree tremor strikes Ica, south of Peru's capital

A map showing the epicenter of the tremor, southeast of the Paracas reserve. (Photo: IGP/Perú21)

Residents of Ica, just south of Peru’s capital, woke up to a tremor of 4.7 degrees on the Richter scale that hit at 5:55 a.m. today, according to Peru’s geophysical institute. The epicenter was located 29 kilometers south of Ica’s capital, at a depth of 77 kilometers.

According to the modified Mercalli scale, the movement of the earth in Ica had a level III intensity. Local authorities have not reported material damages or injuries.

This is the seventh tremor reported by the geophysical institute so far in March.

Find out more about how to prepare for natural disasters with the Peru Earthquakes and Tsunamis: Survival Kit guide.

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Earthquakes, tremors | March 17, 2011 [ 14:06 ]

Seismic activity recorded in Peru department of Ancash

A map showing the epicenter of this morning's quake. (Photo: Google maps/El Comercio)

A tremor measuring 4.2 degrees on the Richter scale, with epicenter 111 kilometers southwest of Huarmey in the Pacific ocean, shook Peru’s department of Áncash this morning.

According to a report from Peru’s geophysical institute, the tremor occurred at exactly 10:46 a.m.

As of now, there have been no reports of material damage or injured people. Peru’s marines said that the possibility of a tsunami along the Peruvian is extremely unlikely, according to Andina.

This is the sixth movement of the earth recorded so far in March. Yesterday, a 4.0-degree tremor shook the Áncash provinces of Aija and Huaraz.

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Earthquakes, tremors | March 17, 2011 [ 9:05 ]

Peru's citizens in Japan feel unprotected and uninformed

By Jorge Riveros-Cayo

Peru's citizens in Japan feel unprotected and uninformed
While citizens of other countries are being repatriated due to the nuclear menace in Japan, Peru's nationals don't receive any response of their embassy. (Photo: The Telegraph)

Peruvian citizens living in Japan complained about Peru's embassy lack of coordination and response to find and relocate citizens affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country last Friday.

A group of Peruvians that were contacted via Skype expressed their concern for the lack of communication with their consulates located in the biggest cities of the country.

Nationals said the consulates are "unable to say if there is a contingency plan" to find, relocate or repatriate Peruvian citizens.

José Castelo said, "This is not funny. We feel totally uninformed. The Peruvian consulate doesn't have the slightest idea of what to do. According to them, they depend from the Peruvian embassy [in Tokyo] and can't decide for themselves."

Rocío Reynoso, another Peruvian citizen, said, "I want to go back to Peru, because this [the nuclear plant explosion] doesn't have a solution. I am scared because I have two girls, five and four years old. Brazil and Colombia are sending planes to repatriate their nationals. When I called the Peruvian consulate, they said to me that where have I heard that; there was nothing official about it."

Peru's ambassador to Japan, Juan Carlos Capuñay, responded that the consulate's priority is to establish contact with the 70 Peruvian citizens that lived in the area affected by the quake and tsunami.

"So far we have located and contacted 36 nationals and we also know that 11 are out of the disaster area," said Capuñay during an interview with Frecuencia Latina-Channel 2.

The diplomat said that the remaining 23 have not been contacted but have neither been reported as casualties.

Voting on April 10

Capuñay also informed that Peruvian citizens will be able to vote in the upcoming presidential and cogressional elections, on April 10, without any problems.

Despite the severe situation that reigns in Japan, the ambassador said that voting tables installed in the southern cities of Japan will function normally.

The embassy did not plan to install voting centers in the area struck by the quake and tsunami, since 95 percent of Peruvians living and working in Japan live in cities located in the southern area of the country.

"All voting tables are located south, where the Peruvian community mostly lives. There are no risks for the election day, everything will work out normally," said Capuñay to RPP radio station.

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Earthquakes, tremors | March 16, 2011 [ 6:46 ]

Opinion: The wave of fear in Japan

Patricia del Río for Perú21
Translated and edited by Jorge Riveros-Cayo

Opinion: The wave of fear
"The Great Wave Off Kanagawa" painted by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)

Fear and terror don’t distinguish race or culture. It doesn’t matter how stoic we can think Japanese are, or how prepared they are to confront an earthquake; the images we can see through You Tube, in websites and other social networks leads us to the same conclusion: Panic.

A man in terror who cannot stand on his feet. A woman drowned in uncertainty as she observes a skyscraper staggering. The fear on an elder who feels he will not make it this time.

The Japanese have rehearsed all their lives to cope with natural disasters. That is why order and calmness have predominated in moments of absolute insanity. However, when the earth trembles with such fury and the sea becomes an unlimited burst of water, we are reminded of how small we really are. That we are insignificant. That we inhabit but will never dominate this planet that we insist on mistreating.

Perhaps one of the worst consequences of the underdevelopment in which we live in is not ignorance but insolence. I think about Japan and cannot stop evoking the humility with which this culture has taken over such a wretched territory where they have learned to live. Japan invests 3.6 percent of their GDP in research and development. A great part of that technology is destined to make more secure structures, and more resistant buildings. They also have a culture of prevention that is present in all levels of society. It is true they are living a giant tragedy and casualties can be counted by thousands. But if they didn’t had all this preparation that we have witnessed (it’s incredible to see how the skyscrapers have not crumbled down) the death toll would probably be higher.

In Peru, by the contrary, we still are acting with arrogance. With insolence. With the stupid conviction that an earthquake will happen on the other side of the world. As if Chile didn’t exist; as if we didn’t lived through what happened in Pisco. In Peru there are 18.7 million inhabitants (69 percent of the total population) that live under a constant risk of an earthquake, according to the Atlas of Natural Disasters, edited by the Andean Community. But not only people are exposed to that threat: 67 percent of our highways and roads could be destroyed, as well as all our maritime ports and 72 percent of our electric transmission lines.

We all know that if an 8.9 magnitude earthquake strikes Peru, there will be no drill that will save us. Our constructions are still unstable, and our firefighters don’t even have a decent budget that enables them to mobilize fast enough in emergency situations. There is nothing that will save us from a catastrophe and the worst part is that our politicians don’t have serious proposals to confront such an issue.

You don’t believe me? Well, read the government plans of the presidential candidates. With the exception of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski — who mentions restructuring Defensa Civil as one of his administration pillars, without giving any details of how will he managed to tackle this issue — the other candidates don’t even include a chapter about disaster preventions. They do have isolated suggestions of how to fortify buildings and constructions or how to implement a nationwide system of preventions, but these initiatives are included without much enthusiasm in order to be developed o seriously implemented.

Meanwhile in Japan the earth keeps shaking. And the replicas don’t let men, women, children and elders sleep, who clutch in terror to their pillows, begging to the world they know to cease shaking.  And us? Here we are, looking at the horizon. Sitting in front of the sea. Waiting for the big wave to come.

Patricia del Río hosts a program in Radio Programas del Perú and writes a weekly political column in Perú21. Read her profile of Jaime Bayly in
15 Peruvians of 2010.

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Earthquakes, tremors | March 16, 2011 [ 5:51 ]

178 Peruvians being searched for in Japan's quake and tsunami areas

By Jorge Riveros-Cayo

178 Peruvians living in areas struck by Japan's quake and tsunami are being searched
Japanese refugess in the Miyagi prefecture. (Photo: Reuters)

One hundred seventy eight Peruvians lived in the Japanese prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, located in the Tōhoku region, the most affected area struck by last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in the northeastern area of Honshū island, in Japan.

The information was obtained by a local firm used often by Peruvians to sends remittances back to Peru, according to El Comercio. The name of the firm was not disclosed.

“Our clients have to register in our firm with updated information as it appears in their residence ID. Hence the information in our list is, at most, two years old,” explained a speaker of the firm. “But regardless of the amount of people that have recently sent remittances to Peru, that doesn’t mean they still live in the same place, because the transfers can be done from any ATM across the country.”

There are around 60 thousand Peruvians living in Japan that send a considerable amount of money back to their families in Peru.

Peruvians that used to live in the areas affected by the quake and tsunami could have migrated months ago to other parts of Japan due to the economic crisis.

“Many foreigners have migrated to southern Japan, where there are more job opportunities. It is quite improbable that those who stayed lived on the coastal strip,” said the speaker whose name was not disclosed either.

El Comercio dialed unsuccessfully around 40 telephone numbers of Peruvian residents in Japan; many of these were out of service. They finally got in touch with Angélica Fujii, a Peruvian woman living in Fukushima 20 years ago.

“The earthquake was so intense, it felt so strong. I learned about the tsunami through television because I live far away from the coast. There aren’t many Peruvians or Latin Americans around here. And I don’t know of any Peruvian casualties either,” she said.

“I’m a bit scared now about the nuclear plant explosion, but if the authorities claim that the situation is under control, then it should be. If there was the need to evacuate, I would go to my family’s house in Shiga, down south, because it would be extremely difficult to return to Peru. I have a life here,” said Fujii.

Through a series of phones calls made by El Comercio to other Peruvian residents, as well as restaurants, stores, sports clubs and Peruvian religious brotherhoods in Japan, they have established that “there are no Peruvian casualties reported so far, but surely there was a considerable amount of Peruvians in the area hit by the tsunami.”

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Earthquakes, tremors | March 15, 2011 [ 15:08 ]

45 Peruvians still missing after Japan earthquake

45 Peruvians still missing after Japan earthquake
From around 70 Peruvians living in the area hit by the quake, only 25 have been located. (Photo: Reuters)

Forty five Peruvian citizens who lived in the area of Japan that was worst-affected by last week's quake remained unknown Tuesday.

Peru's ambassador to Japan, Juan Carlos Capuñay, said that from the 70 Peruvians living in the area at the time of the quake, 25 had been located and already reached Tokyo, reported El Comercio

There are more than 60 thousand Peruvians living in Japan, although most of them live far from the region that was worst-hit by the quake.

The embassy and the social networks connecting Peruvian citizens in Japan are busy trying to locate the missing, particularly 28 who lived in Sendai at the time of the disaster and who are all yet to be located.

Peru is home to the second largest Japanese population outside of Japan.

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Earthquakes, tremors | March 14, 2011 [ 15:40 ]

Peru: 10 fishermen missing in Piura after tsunami warning

Fishing boats off the coast of Piura in northern Peru. (Photo:

Ten fishermen from the northern Peru port of Piura have been missing since last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan. They set sail from the cove Puerto Rico de Bayóvar, in the Sechura province, aboard a vessel named “El Cholo,” according to RPP.

Their families have not received any word of their whereabouts since last week, and it is unclear whether they ever returned to the mainland. They have asked port authorities to mount a search.

Last Friday, a tsunami alert was raised for the entire Peruvian coast after the severe waves and violent earthquake that struck the northeastern shore of Japan. It is unknown if the men were unaware of the alert or if they decided to set sail despite the warnings.

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Earthquakes, tremors | March 14, 2011 [ 10:23 ]

Parts of Peru coast continue to see abnormal wave activity

The Pacific Ocean at the Lima beach of Callao on Friday, hours before arrival of the tsunami waves.

Even though northern regional director of Peru’s civil defense institute, Carlos Balarezo, reported yesterday that the ocean along northern coast of Peru had returned to normal, anomalous wave activity resumed in the waters of La Libertad starting at 6 p.m.

This was confirmed by the region’s civil defense chief, Eduardo Fiestas, who stated that in the population in the areas of Salaverry, Las Delicias, Huanchaco and Buenos Aires should take caution and avoid fishing, water sports, and being close to the ocean until the alert was over.

In the morning, Balarezo assessed the effects of the waves that hit Peru’s northern coast as a consequence of last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan. He said that although there was material damage in some small bays in Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque and La Libertad, there were no reports of missing or injured people.

Meanwhile, in the south, the regional civil defense is recommending that people remain alert for unusual wave activity in the San Andrés district in Pisco. Area chief César Chonate said that even though there had been no abnormal movement recorded in the past several hours, people should not let their guard down. About 180 families were affected by the abnormally high tide recorded on Saturday morning.

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