The Peruvian coast town of Chimbote was among the many towns nearly or totally destroyed by Sunday's (31 May) earthquake which rocked the northern part of the country and killed an estimated 34,000 people.
The Peruvian coast town of Chimbote was among the many towns nearly or totally destroyed by Sunday's (31 May) earthquake which rocked the northern part of the country and killed an estimated 34,000 people. Chimbote, 264 miles (422 kms) northwest of Lima, has become the centre for government aid operations in North Peru, with rescue vessels already starting arriving.
The 40-second earthquake reduced numerous towns and villages in a wide area north of Lima stretching from the Pacific Coast to the Andes. The situation was made more critical by floods and avalanches which followed. The Andes town of Yungay was wiped out.
An estimated 300 people were killed in Chimbote alone and buildings in the poorer sections of the town were reduced to rubble.
Paratroopers, medical supplies and food were dropped into the devastated town of Huaraz where about 750 people were killed and 95 per cent of the buildings destroyed in the tremor. Among the personnel were doctors, army nurses and radio operators, badly needed to establish communications with other areas.
Leading the paratroopers was in army Lieutenant-Colonel, named by the government as military and political chief of the devastated region in northern Peru.
The Government has said the only way for supplies to come in is by air and aircraft and supplies have been coming in from abroad, including the United States, Chile, Brazil and Argentina.