6.2 earthquake shakes Peru: Institute

LIMA (AFP) - A strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake shook a rural area in northern Peru on Tuesday (April 18) but no damage was immediately reported, the country's Geophysical Institute said.

The quake struck at 1749 GMT (1.49am on Wednesday, Singapore time) in the sparsely populated Loreto region at a depth of 142km, the institute's director Hernando Tavera said on the radio.

Officials said residents in towns in Peru and neighbouring Ecuador evacuated buildings and took precautionary measures but emergency services reported no damage.

The quake was also felt in Colombia, the Red Cross and authorities there said.

Peru sits on the so-called Ring of Fire, an earthquake-prone zone spanning the Pacific.