Lima (ANTARA News/AFP) - A major 6.9-magnitude quake struck Friday along the coast of central Peru, the US Geological Survey reported, sending thousands of panic-stricken residents of Lima and other cities into the streets.

Peruvian officials said they had no immediate reports of damage of casualties, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a widespread tsunami warning.

The quake struck at 1854 GMT on the Pacific coast about 288 kilometers (175 miles) southeast of Lima, the USGS said in an updated advisory.

The epicenter was 51 kilometers southwest of the city of Ica, capital of the province of the same name, at a depth of 35 kilometers, the USGS said.

On August 15, 2007, an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 devastated the province of Ica, killing some 600 people and causing extensive damage to area buildings and infrastructure.

In 2009, more than 140 earthquakes with magnitudes of 4.0 and above were felt in Peru, located on what geologists call the Pacific Ring of Fire due to its intense seismic activity.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cautioned that quakes of this magnitude "sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive." (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
Copyright © ANTARA 2011