Death toll rises to 450 in Peru earthquake

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August 17, 2007 01:45

 
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The death toll rose to 450 on Thursday in the magnitude-8 earthquake that devastated cities of adobe and brick in Peru's southern desert. Survivors wearing blankets walked like ghosts through the ruins. The dust-covered dead were pulled out and laid in rows in the streets, or beneath bloodstained sheets at damaged hospitals and morgues. Doctors struggled to help more than 1,500 injured, including hundreds who waited on cots in the open air, fearing more aftershocks would send the structures crashing down. The center of the destruction was in Peru's southern desert, in the oasis city of Ica and the nearby port of Pisco, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of the capital, Lima. The United Nations said the death toll was expected to rise beyond the 450 reported by Peru.

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