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Map of Lima, Peru from 1687

17th Century Earthquakes

Records about Historical Earthquakes in Peru

On the 24th of November 1604 a strong sea-quake with a magnitude of approximately 8.5 to 9.0 hit the southern Peruvian coast destroying Arica (back then Peru, today Chile) completely and causing severe damage in the whole area. The quake was felt even in Arequipa that just a few years before lay in ashes due to heavy earthquakes caused by the eruption of the Huaynaputina. A tsunami devastated around 1000 km of coast line.

17th Century Earthquakes

Earthquake 24th of November 1604 Arica (then Peru, today Chile)

A strong sea-quake with a magnitude of approximately 8.5 to 9.0 hit the southern Peruvian coast destroying Arica (back then Peru, today Chile) completely and causing severe damage in the whole area. The quake was felt even in Arequipa that just a few years before lay in ashes due to heavy earthquakes caused by the eruption of the Huaynaputina. The following tsunami with waves up to 16 m devastated around 1000 km of South American coast line. Around 1500 people lost their life's.

Earthquake 19th of October 1609 Lima

Around 08.00 pm a violent earthquake hit Lima and destroyed most of its buildings. Reports indicate the collapse of over 500 houses. The damage to the Cathedral of Lima that was still under construction was estimated at around 200,000 pesos.

Earthquake 14th of February 1619 Trujillo

An earthquake with a magnitude of around 8.5 in the Trujillo Region caused a complete destruction of the city of Trujillo and surrounding villages in the Saña y Santa Valley. The areas of Piura, Lambayeque, Cajamarca, Tumbes and Chimbote were badly affected as well. Even in Lima the shaking caused panic and small damages were reported. Overall an estimated 4000 people were killed and hundreds were injured; countless more died after the earthquake due to pandemic diseases.

Earthquake 27th of November 1630 Lima

Around lunchtime when Lima's citizens were attending a bullfight at the Plaza de Armas a major earthquake shook the city. Once again most houses in the city were severely damaged. Many people were injured and some killed. Due to the danger of collapsing buildings the main square with its surrounding markets and shops, were closed for the Christmas time.

Earthquake 31st of March 1650 Cusco

Cusco was hit by a long earthquake with a magnitude of around 7.5. The tremor caused heavy damages to numerous building in the city and affected big parts of central and south Peru. It is reported that up to 5000 people lost their life's.

Earthquake 12th of May 1664 Ica / Pisco

In the early morning a strong (7.3) earthquake jolted the Ica – Pisco region. In Ica nearly all houses were destroyed and deep, huge cracks in the ground were reported. Pisco was as well affected badly. Next to several demolished houses the city had to cope with the loss of its main wealth: the Pisco and wine stock, kept in ceramic vessels that broke, are reported to have formed rivers flowing into the sea. Even in Lima the shaking was felt with strong intensity. Around 500 people were killed.

Earthquake 17th of June 1678 Lima

At 07.45 pm a strong earthquake rattles the Lima and Callao region. Once again many buildings were destroyed or badly damaged, including the Viceroys Palace. 9 people died. The damage was estimated at around 3,000,000 pesos.

Earthquake 20th of October 1687 Lima

In the afternoon two major earthquakes with magnitudes estimated at 8.0 and 8.5 struck the area surrounding Lima within one hour. The first tremor destroyed most of Lima's buildings and towers. The second earthquake generated a devastating tsunami. 10 meter high waves wreaked havoc in the port of Callao. Nothing and nobody was spared. The earthquakes and the tsunami did huge damage to the whole southern coast. Pisco was like Callao completely flooded, many haciendas in the valleys of Ica, Palpa and Nazca destroyed. Numbers of fatalities vary between 1500 and 5000.
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