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33 DIE IN NORTHEASTERN JUNGLE AREA OF PERU

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A powerful earthquake jolted Peru's northeastern jungle, killing at least 33 people and wrecking dozens of homes, officials and news reports said Wednesday.

Seven of the deaths Tuesday night occurred in Moyobamba, a town of 50,000 people 400 miles north of Lima, civil defense officials said. The other dead were in nearby jungle areas.Radioprogramas, Peru's leading radio news station, reported the quake destroyed dozens of homes in Moyobamba.

The quake, measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale, occurred at 9:33 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Peruvian Geophysical Institute.

It said the epicenter was in the jungle 75 miles northeast of Moyobamba. An earlier report incorrectly put the epicenter in the Pacific Ocean.

The institute said the area suffered at least 20 aftershocks, including one shortly after midnight registering 4.7 on the Richter scale.

The Richter scale is a gauge of the energy released by an earthquake, as measured by the ground motion recorded on a seismograph. A quake of magnitude of 5 can cause considerable damage.