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Strong earthquake hits Peru jungle

A strong but deep earthquake in a northern Peruvian jungle region, near Brazil, has been reported by the US Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury in the quake, which was felt mildly in the capital, Lima.

The Colorado-based USGS said the quake was centred just north of the jungle city of Pucallpa and struck at 12.46pm local time on Wednesday.

It occurred 90 miles underground. The deeper the quake, the less it is likely to be felt or to cause destruction.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8, the USGS said.

An unidentified local woman interviewed by Peru's Canal N television station said the earth shook "like a hammock".

A police official in the regional capital of Pucallpa, Angela Romero, said there were no indications of damage. "We all went out calmly to the street," she said.

Peru's Institute of Geophysics registered the quake's magnitude at 7, but an official at the institute said that, because of its depth, it only felt like a 5-magnitude quake to Pucallpa's residents.

Peru is among the world's most seismically active countries.

Its most recent deadly quake occurred on August 15, 2007. The 7.9-magnitude temblor killed 596 people and largely destroyed the coastal city of Pisco just south of Lima.

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