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Avalanche in Yungay, Peru
Transcript of Avalanche in Yungay, Peru
When, Where, and What Happened?
Although the earthquake lasted for 45 seconds, it caused great damage to many homes, industries, schools, and electricity, water, and sanitary facilities. The damage of the disaster cost the economy to lose about $500 million. Not only the town was buried by snow, but many people were also killed and buried under the snow. About 20,000 people were killed and majority of the town was left homeless. Approximately 400 people were injured, but survived. In other parts of Peru, the earthquake killed close to 50,000 people.
Peruvian Air Forces brought relief supplies and troops were sent to open up roads that were covered by the avalanche. The United Nations offered to help with aid and technical assistance but there were only a few survivors. The government in Peru forbid anyone from digging the area that was buried under snow so they left it as a national cemetery and a sight seeing stop for tourists.
On May 31, 1970, the town of Yungay was struck by a tragic avalanche. Mount Huascarán is the highest mountain in Peru at 6768 metres above sea level. Yungay was first hit by an earthquake with a 7.9 magnitude which triggered tremors and shock waves causing boulders of snow and ice to tumble down Mount Huascarán. The earthquake lasted for only 45 seconds, but it was so strong that it shook the mountain hard enough to cause an avalanche. The cluster of ice was estimated to be about 900 metres and it toppled down the mountain at about 160km/hour.
This picture shows us the area where the avalanche damaged.
By: Jane Hernandez and Aimelyn Mataro