6.3 earthquake shakes peru, minor injuries reported

Lima (ANTARA News/Reuters) - A 6.3 magnitude earthquake rattled the coast of Peru early on Monday, causing minor injuries, authorities said.

There were no reports of deaths or major damage from the quake, which occurred shortly after midnight local time (0500 GMT) and was centered about 9 miles (15 km) southeast of the city of Ica and about 170 miles (274 km) south-southeast of Lima, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Peru is an important minerals producer, but its mines are mostly located far from the quake zone and no damage to mining operations was reported.

Witnesses said the quake shook buildings in coastal Lima, Peru`s capital. Local radio said residents near the epicenter were alarmed and ran outside their homes when they felt the quake. A total of 96 people suffered minor injuries, the radio said, citing the government civil defense agency.

Power was out in nearby Pisco.

"We felt a terrible earthquake that`s really scared us," Ica resident Blanca Cabanilla told the local radio. "It was similar to what happened to us in 2007."

An 8.0 magnitude quake in 2007 killed more than 500 people in Ica and wrecked thousands of homes. (*)