A magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck northern Peru early Sunday near copper and gold mines, prompting officials to activate emergency protocols.
The quake hit at 2:41 a.m. local time, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre. The US Geological Survey put the epicenter at 75 km south-southeast of the village of Lagunas.
Tremors were moderately felt in the capital of Lima. One person was confirmed dead and dozens of buildings were damaged, according to a Twitter post by Peru’s National Emergency Operations Center (COEN). Authorities are evaluating affected areas, President Martin Vizcarra said in a Twitter post.
The two largest gold companies in the world have mines in the area.
Barrick Gold has already conducted a visual inspection of the Lagunas Norte open pit mine, which is located about 140 km east of Trujillo, a spokeswoman for CEO Mark Bristow said by phone. While no visible damage to major infrastructure was seen, the miner will be conducting a more in-depth study.
A spokesman for Newmont Goldcorp said he has not heard of any impact at Yanacocha, which is about 800 km northeast of Lima.
The two mines produced 245 000 oz and 271 000 oz of gold, respectively, in 2018.
Earthquakes are frequent in Peru, which lies on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.