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Earthquake toll passes 400 in Peru


LIMA, Peru (BP)–Missionaries Pam and Kevin Shearer were sitting down to dinner with their daughter when the Aug. 15 earthquake struck Lima, Peru, and nearby regions.

“We went out in the backyard … and it felt like the ground was moving in waves, like you were standing on a boat,” Pam Shearer recounted. “We could hear neighbors just screaming and panicking and it lasted about two minutes -– which seems like an eternity when everything is shaking.”

News reports Aug. 16 from Lima indicated 437 were dead, 829 injured and more than 80,000 affected by the earthquake during the early evening of Aug. 15.

All International Mission Board personnel serving in the affected areas have been accounted for.

The earthquake’s epicenter was 90 miles southeast of Lima, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Many have been left homeless in the towns of Ica, Chincha and Pisco near Lima.

“Many spent the night outside in the parks because they were afraid to go inside or because they didn’t have a house to go back to,” IMB missionary Judy Hughes said.


While the three towns sustained the worst damage, residents of Lima have experienced power outages, phone service disruptions and some structural damage to buildings.

IMB missionaries serving in the area planned to meet Aug. 16 in Lima to discuss possible relief efforts. Meanwhile, Southern Baptists are asked to pray for those affected by the quake.