Earthquake Ica, Central Peru - 1 person killed and 341 houses collapsed or uninhabitable

Earthquake overview : A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit near the coast of Central Peru.  The earthquake hit at 01:54 PM local time (18:54 UTC). Initial USGS data stated that the epicenter was on the coastline approx. 50 km from Ica, a big Peruvian city. Lucky escape for Ica,  as the Peruvian seismological agency IGP did locate the epicenter at 117 km from Ica.
With the collaboration of Carlos Robles, Ana Paula Silva Correia, José Rodrigues Ribeiro and Robert Speta

"I have Felt it" Reports --> see below + Let us know "how you have felt this earthquake"
To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).

Keep this page open or return regularly as we will be back with more details when they become available

A collapsed house due to the October 28 2011 earthquake in Ica province, Peru - Image courtesy and copyright Region Centro LaRepublica Peru

Update 01/11 - 10:00 UTC : The manager of the Civil Defense office of Ica has announced that he will continue to search for inflected damage. expects not a lot of additional damage anymore. All injured and killed people are accounted for.

Update 31/10 - 04:18 UTC 1705 people are homeless. 154 tents have been distributed. In addition to the 63 houses collapsed, 278 houses uninhabitable, 515 houses damaged - 2 temples/churches as well as 2 health centers have been damaged.

Update 30/10 - 23:18 UTC : Unfortunately, also this earthquake became a deadly one after that the 44 year old Javier Humberto Ennriques Caycho  from Cochahuasi, playa hermosa was killed by a falling stone.

Update 30/10 - 23:17 UTC : Indeci has published report nr. 157 with details of the impact of the earthquake. Click here to consult it.
The affected zones where : Ica, Oalpa, Pisco, Chincha and Canete. In this report Indeci said that :
- 104 people were treated for all kind of injuries (Chincha : 34 and Ica : 70)
2,575 people were affected by the earthquake, 63 houses have collapsed, 278 houses were uninhabitable and 515 houses were damaged.

Update 30/10 - 12:12 UTC : Indeci has published report nr. 156 with the aftermath details of this earthquake. Click here to consult it.
The affected zones where : Ica, Oalpa, Pisco, Chincha and Canete. In his latest report Indeci said that 2,575 people were affected by the earthquake, 92 houses had collapsed, 194 houses were uninhabitable and 515 houses were damaged

Update 16:46 UTC : The Cathedral from ICA will be demolished as the total structure become destabilized and would collapse anyway with the next serious earthquake.

Update 16:05 UTC : We have NO further updated reports on the number of injured. The last report from INDECI was at 23:00 local time yesterday!

Update 16:02 UTC : Peruvian president Humala has canceled his presence to the IberoAmericana meeting in Cumbre (Pagaguay) to travel back to Lima first and to continue thereafter to Ica.

Update 12:19 UTC : La Republica Peru quotes Seismologist Julio Kuroiwa in saying that yesterdays very strong earthquake could be called an "aftershock " of the massive 2007 earthquake. Massive earthquakes can trigger very strong to massive aftershocks for decades. Mr. Koraiwa compared both the 2007 earthquake with yesterday's aftershock, as he called it. The 2007 7.9 magnitude earthquake was 30 times stronger than the one from Friday.
He also said that to generate a tsunami the magnitude has to be at least 7.2 and be very shallow. (ER ... these are the words of the seismologist, not ours - tsunamis are a very difficult subject and cannot be generalized on a worldwide scale. Every coastline is different and magnitudes to trigger tsunamis do vary a lot. Additionally, the local aspect may never be forgotten. For example in this case, we at are always alerted when the epicenter is shallow and it is located on the steep slopes of underwater mounts. Here the level difference between the top of the South America plate and the base of the Nazca plate was 3000 m! Landslides below sea level have generated destructive local tsunamis in the past. Luckily, here everything was kept well together.)

Update 11:00 UTC : The mayor of Ica Mariano Nacimiento Quispe, says in an interview to TV station Hora 24 that he is prepared for the many aftershocks Ica is going trough at the moment. An extended contingency plan is ready if it would be needed.

Update 10:41 UTC : The video below from 24Horas a Peruvian TV station is showing emotional scenes and a lot of chaos in Ica. Luckily not too much damage, but as you will see People were panicking a lot.

Update 10:32 UTCWe expect higher damage numbers a couple of hours after daylight. As it is the case with most earthquakes, Civil Defense personnel cannot assess the complete situation in in less than 48 hours, which is the reason why early numbers are never correct in case of such very strong earthquakes

Update 10:28 UTC :  The M 6.7 earthquake has not generated a tsunami warning for the coasts of Peru, said the Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation of the Navy of Peru (confirmation of the news from our 10:10 update)

Update 10:10 UTC :  Ana Paula and José (see above) have contacted some people in Huacho and they say that no tsunami or unusual movement at sea was observed. This is important news because it contradicts completely the Tsunami map in this article. This does not mean at all the the GDACS models are bad (we @ are valuing them as a very huge step forward in alerting people) but that the data they used to calculate the wave-heights (epicenter location, Magnitude and Depth) might have been erroneous to some point.  In a seperate article we will explain why these errors can occur.

Important Update 07:43 UTC : The Peruvian Civil Defense, responsible for organizing the rescue and relief support to the people have reported that at least 83 people were injured by this earthquake. 132 houses have been reported collapsed and many more damaged.
Click here to open the FULL INDECI REPORT as published on October 28 @ 23:00 (11 PM) local time = 04:00 UTC congratulates INDECI for there extensive reporting, an example to be followed by other countries

Update 07:35 UTC: 1.89 tonnes of roof and tents have been provided to the region. 45 tents/roofs have been provided to Ica Province of which 24 are located in Pachacutec, 4 in Parcon and 17 in Tinguina.

Ica people running in the streets for open ground - the damage to the houses can be seen by the debris at the site of the walls

Update 07:15 UTC: At the moment the injury toll stands at 83, with no casualties reported.
132 houses have collapsed, and 660 people are homeless. 1220 people have been affected.
From the latest statistics: only 88 houses collapsed, yet 40 are uninhabitable in addition.
245 houses in addition have been damaged.
INDECI statistics state that: 640 people were homeless, five of them in the province of Palpa and 635 in Ica province (in the districts of Ica (20), Ocucaje (230), Pachacutec (120), Parcona (35 ), San Juan Bautista (5), Santiago (40), Tate (100) and Tinguiña (85)).

Also listed as 1225 people affected, 1220 in the Ica region and province of the same name, in the districts of Ica (30), Ocucaje (980), Los Molinos (200), Tate (10), and only five in district Imperial (Cañete).

Of the 83 people were injured, all came from the Ica region.
- In the district of Palpa 1 was injured,
- in the province of Ica 48 were injured in the districts of Ica (41) and Ocucaje (7),
- while in the province of Chincha 34 were injured. Robert Speta overview video

Update 06:38 UTC : At least 7 houses have collapsed in and around Ica.  Three houses collapsed in Acomayo sector, two in Victoria, one in San Joaquin Viejo and another in the Los Espinos.  The affected families are receiving assistance from the Peruvian Civil Defense. Tents have been installed to help the owners through the night .

Update : The President of the Council of Ministers, Lerner Ghitis, ordered the immediate mobilization of the National Civil Defense Institute (INDECI) to address possible impacts of the strong earthquake that hit several regions of the country.

Update : After the damage created by today's earthquake the demolition of four churches in Ica is under discussion. The local mayor thinks they are not safe anymore because the 2007 earthquake has already weakened their structure.

Update : The people living at the coastal town of Pisco have been seriously alarmed by a fast retiring Ocean.  Retiring oceans can be a signal for an upcoming tsunami.

Update : The Peruvian Civil Defense just announced that so far 17 people have been reported injured and 35 houses collapsed.

Update : 29/10/2011 - 00:02 UTC : 17 minutes ago a powerful 5.5 magnitude aftershock struck the same area. Depth : 19.7 km This will go on and on for the coming hours and days, gradually decreasing in strength.

Update :  The Peruvian President, Mr. Ollanta Humala, has called the population to remain calm. Mr. Humala is currently in Paraguay.

: Panic in Chincha, a coastal town about 120 km to the North of the epicenter. Parents run to the schools to rescue their children. People crowded the streets.
Update : Good News : ICA is ONLINE again, We saw the first people with an IP address in Ica showing up in the site. Also our first I Have Felt It report from Ica. (see below)

Update : In the province of Huancavelica (to the NE of Ica province) a school was closed because of the damage. In Ascension, in the same province, a few abandoned shacks have collapsed.

Important Update : The Theoretical models of GDACS using an epicenter close to the coast are returning very damaging tsunami waves up to  4.8 meter high (this is VERY high for tsunami waves). So far we have NO news from these coastal localities. We remind our readers that theoretical models are based on historical information and on information from seismological agencies. GDACS has used the USGS data for their computing.
Based on the data below we are especially curious on the Huacho situation.
Update 23:21 UTC : Apparently, the earthquake was felt (with small or moderate intensity) in Huacho too. No damage was caused.

List of tsunami waves following the GDACS theoretical models

Tsunami wave model simulation - image courtesy GDACS

Update : The newspaper Peru21 says there are at least 20 persons injured. The newspaper Correo says 16 wounded are in ICA Regional Hospital and 4 other are in the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pisco. Some of them are seriously wounded, many from falls caused by panic.

Update : So far we have almost NO news from the sparsely populated coastal area, the area at risk for a local tsunami.

Update : Two persons were seriously wounded in Acamayo (near Ica) and three houses have collapsed. Another ten persons suffered light injures and seven houses were damaged. Telephone lines and electricity are being re-established. (These data are preliminary and will certainly increase further)
The two persons seriously injured are two girls aged 9 and 19, with fractures in the femur and pelvis, caused by the falling walls of their houses, in Acomayo, near Ica. There are 12 injured persons, until now.

Update : The greater area of Ica province is out in the streets and will probably stay out in the streets all night.

Update 22:23 UTC : Palpa has NO injured people as of now.

Update : Peruvian press is almost BLIND on the situation. Even regional ICA newspapers have at this moment only a couple of lines and nothing detailed.

Update : As could be expected, the area is hit by multiple powerful aftershocks. Most people will not read our article and not only because they do not understand English but because telecommunications are  down and sitting behind a computer does not serve to anything as there is NO power.
The most powerful aftershocks since the mainshock measured 4.7, 4.9 and 5.0.

GOOD NEWS from ICAMario Luis Franco (hospital manager @ ICA ) "We went out to search and we didnt find injured people" only 3 people are in emergency room with cutting wounds and strokes from falling debris.
(ER: This means that the seismological data from IGP (magnitude, depth and epicenter location are probably very accurate).
Based on the data of IGP, there are NO major and medium range cities in the vicinity of the epicenter
IGP = Instituto Geofísico del Perú

Update : There are no reports until now if the  earthquake did caused any damage in Peru's mining and oil industry operations, which are very important sectors of the country's industry. Southern Copper, one of the largest copper mines in the world reported that everything is normal.

Update : Acording to the peruvian newspaper LA REPUBLICA, the earthquake was also felt in Northern Chile.

Update :  It will be ANXIOUSLY WATING for the first detailed reports from the coast.

Important Update : IGP, Peru is giving the following (little weaker) data for this earthquake : Depth : 30 km, Magnitude 6.7 and very good news for Ica :  117 km South East of Ica.
The IGP data are completely different than those from USGS. The distance to the major city of Ica is almost double.
Local seismological agencies are often very close to the real epicenter because their instruments are mostly closest to the epicenter. The epicenter following IGP is at least 50 km out of the coast and is right in the middle of the subduction slope. This very steep subducting hang has a height of 3,000 meter!. Hopefully, NO sea-slides will occur on this steep mountain.
All this means that the THINLY POPULATED  COASTAL AREA IS AT HIGH RISK for the strong shaking and an eventual tsunami. Earthquakes below 7.0 are seldom generating tsunamis 

Update :  The earthquake was, as expected, strongly felt in Lima, the capital of Peru

Update :  WAPMERR, the theoretical model earthquake engine has calculated that 50 to 500 people will be injured and that 0 to 50 fatalities may be expected.

Update : Only very few news facts are arriving out of the epicenter area. Main reason : no power (computers) and NO or very limited telcommunications (few cell phones)

Update : The earthquake was also felt in Ecuador and Brasil

Update : There are reports in many towns that mobile telephony is not working. Please try to use SMS (text message) communication, because too many voice calls are causing networks to crash.
Please read our in-depth article on the redundancy of telecommunication networks - part of our analysis was based on earlier Peruvian earthquakes. Click here to read it!

Update : A little more on the 2007 Central Peru earthquake with an epicenter to the North West of today's earthquake :
15 August 2007 an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale hit Chincha, Pisco and Ica y Cañete. These cities are close to each other and approximately 300 kilometres from Lima. Pisco is the most affected city with 70% of destroyed infrastructure, no basic services and problems with communications. So far there is no information on the damages caused in the rural areas but according to local radio "there are many people from rural areas coming to the cities asking for help".  (an excerpt from a report of the Intermediate Technology Development Group)

Video (8 seconds) from the shaking in Lima

Important Update :  The IGP informed that the feeling percibed by the people was like the one of 2007  and damage is reported in Palpa,Ica.
Hernan Tavara...... pointed that the sectors of Ica,Nazca and Palpa in the center-south were the most shaked.
The earthquake make landslides in the coast, power outages, and problems with the cellphone service.
Local authorities informed that most of the houses have cracks and that there were sea level changes.
The sea withdraw 10 meters from the coast of San Andres.

Update : Some more information on the ICA 2007 devastating earthquake (source Wikipedia) :
The earthquake occurred in the coastal zone to the north-west of today's epicenter
To come

Update : The Peruvian Civil Defense is currently monitoring the extend of the damage and the number of injured in  Santiago, Los Aquijes y Pueblo Nuevo.

Update : People are so scared after have lived trough the August 15 2007 earthquake.

Update : The power in ICA has been dropped since the mainshock.

Update : 291,000 people will have felt a strong shaking

Update : It has only limited sense of digging up earlier earthquakes in this case. To the positive : the coastal area is very thinly populated which is a good sign even in the case of a local tsunami.

Update :  Data from other seismological agencies :
EMSC : M 7 @ 27 km (epicenter approx. 10 km out of the coast)
GFZ : 6.9 @ 30 km
PERU : 6.7 @ 14 km

Update : Palpa, a city at approx. 80 to 100 km from the epicenter has houses with cracks in it - a very bad sign. (see picture at right)

Update : In the province of Huamanga in Ayacucho, the earthquake interrupted the council session. In Palpa there are reports of cracks in houses caused by the violent shaking.

Update : A little more on the Ica region (source Wikipedia)
The Ica Region has a remarkable geography. It is the only region of the southern coast formed by plains, also called coast plains, since the Andean Cordillera rise up inland. Some geological folds have determined the formation of dunes moving toward the sea, which form much of the Paracas Peninsula. Some isolated formations located at the southern part created the Marcona complex, with the biggest deposits of iron in the Pacific coast.
Ica's configuration is due to the geomorphology of its two big and unique fluvial watersheds: the Pasco and Ica rivers. Also, it has a waterway called the Rio Grande, although its waters do not reach the ocean. Some waters are diverted for irrigation and agriculture in the provinces of Pampa, Nazca and Ingenio; the Rio Grande's final riverbed is dry since sand and dried lands absorb its limited resources. There are extensive deserts in Ica, such as the Lancha Pampas. Pozo Santo and Villacuri pampas are extremely hot areas. Strong and persistent winds called paracas are present and stir up large sandstorms.

Cracked houses in Palpa approx. 100 km from the epicenter

UpdateGDACS, the theoretical modelling system from the European Union has NO tsunami alert (just like NOAA), but both organizations are using the USGS parameters (epicenter on the coast). (We @ are NOT 100 % sure of these predictions as we have experienced serious location errors in the past).

Update :  If the epicenter of this earthquake has been correctly calculated a Tsunami is highly unlikely (just on the coast), but please keep in mind that an error margin of 20 to 40 km has to be kept in mind, in this case the earthquake's epicenter could have been right in the coastal waters.  We are hoping that all is OK.


Update :  The last deadly earthquake in the area was in 2007, which killed more than 500 people

Update :  The MMI VI zones below are at risk for damages and at least minor injuries

Shaking map - the yellow zonde has experienced a strong to very strong shaking

Update : MMI values for nearby locations (K= 1000 inhabitants)
VI    Santiago    10k
VI    Ica    247k
VI    Hacienda Vista Alegre    10k
VI    Subtanjalla    9k
VI    San Juan Bautista    7k
VI    Los Aquijes    8k
IV    Huancavelica    42k
IV    Lima    7,737k
III    Ayacucho    140k
III    Huancayo    377k
III    Callao    813k

Update : The earthquake is also reported to be felt in Arequipa, Cusco and Pisco, where many citizens refused to go back in their homes. The quake has caused power outages in many locations.

Update :  Damage is expected in Ica because more than 3,000 houses are built of mud. Rescue groups are on their way to the affected area.

Update : The earthquake was felt with great intensity in Canete, Chincha, Huancavelica and Cuzo Huamanga. There are reports of smaller aftershocks felt in Huancavelica and Huamanga.

Update : earthquakes are very common in this area but are rarely tis powerful

Update : This earthquake is a subduction earthquake, which means that the Nazca plate (oceanic plate) is subducting the South American plate. Sometimes the gliding is not smooth enough and the plates are cracking with the accumulated energy. This event makes these massive earthquakes.

Update : Panicked people rushed into the streets. The earthquake was well felt in Lima too

Update : is labeling this earthquake as EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

Update : USGS has calculated that the max. MMI is VII (very strong shaking) which will be experienced by 373 people only, however 334,000 people will have felt a strong shaking

Update : Ica is a city with 247,000 inhabitants (latest census)

Update : The earthquake happened right on the coastline  near Ica, Peru

"I Have Felt It" reports as received by
LIMA -   In Lima, the earthquake was felt like two horizontal waves. It was 6.9in the Ritcher's scale.
Ica : I felt energy coming out the earth..weaving from side to side, after earthquake i felt very dizzy  for a few minutes more... when i went home  my outside mud wall felt all down (Strong shaking indicated)

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 6.9
UTC Time : 18:54:35
Local time at epicenter : 01:54:35 PM
Depth (Hypocenter) : 34.9 km
Geo-location(s) :
51 km (31 miles) SSW of Ica, Peru
112 km (69 miles) S of Chincha Alta, Peru
201 km (124 miles) W of Puquio, Peru
288 km (178 miles) SSE of LIMA, Peru
Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area.
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Shaking map
Focal mechanism report
Human impact map
GDACS earthquake report
GDACS tsunami report
NOAA tsunami report

QuakeSOS+ and QuakeSOS free are iPhone applications developed by Armand Vervaeck, the founder of Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is feeding the users with Earthquake Report news. The 0.99 US$ QuakeSOS+ version will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.

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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται Yo lo he sentido – 我的确感到了 – 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt – Bunu hissediyorum yaptı – لم أشعر أنه


  1. Richard Oomen says

    Dear Mr Vervaeck,

    Being an enthousiastic lover of volcanism all over the world, I am also following with great interest the birth and developments of the new volcano near El Hierro.
    However, I am facing a problem when trying to open links of photos on the main page, which refer to
    series of photos on a special page. Can you tell me why I do not succeed?

    Yours faithfully,

    Richard Oomen
    Uden, The Netherlands

  2. Ana Paula Silva Correia and José Rodrigues Ribeiro says

    Acording to the peruvian newspaper LA REPUBLICA, the earthquake was also felt in Northern Chile.