Church tower collapses following earthquakes in southern Peru

Peru church tower collapse The tower of Purísima Concepción Church in Lari, Peru, collapsed following earthquakes in May 2023. | Credit: Municipality of Caylloma

A tower at a church in southern Peru has collapsed due to a series of earthquakes there in recent days.

According to RPP Noticias, the tower, which had already suffered damage from an earthquake in 2016, is located at Purísima Concepción (Most Pure Conception) Church in the Colca Valley in the Lari district of Caylloma province in the Arequipa region.

The foundation of the church and 12 other churches are at risk of collapsing due to the condition of their infrastructure after the quakes, which ranged from 2.7 to 5.5 in magnitude.

The mayor of Caylloma, Alfonso Mamani, said it is necessary for the Ministry of Culture to intervene in order to rehabilitate and preserve all the churches that had already been damaged in the 2016 earthquake. That earthquake left more than 250 families homeless.

Although there were already projects for the restoration of the churches, new evaluations are now necessary due to the recent damage.

The mayor of the Lari district, José Panta Mamani, asked for support to rebuild the Purísima Concepción church and the houses affected by the earthquakes.

“Our reservoirs are damaged; they’ve shifted, and at any time they can collapse. I just want to strongly ask our authorities; hopefully, this time they’ll focus on these places where we have to attend to,” the mayor said.

“Otherwise, as I say, our province of Caylloma is on the way to disappearing, because there is no longer any hope for anything, because everything is damaged,” he lamented.

The epicenter of the earthquakes was in the Maca district. The earthquakes also damaged several houses in the neighboring districts of Tisco, Lari, Ichupampa, and Achoma.

Due to the emergency situation, the Provincial Municipality of Caylloma set up tents in the Maca district, where residents were able to spend the night.

Other damage included landslides on highways and in the Madrigal district.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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