History of Huaraz

ARTHQUAKES AND AVALANCHES

This region has suffered several devastating disasters. In 1941, a flood originating from Lake Palcacocha in the Cojup Valley destroyed the northern half of the city of Huaraz, killing 5,000 people. Since then, the government has worked to control the water level in all lakes that pose a threat of bursting. In 1962, the town of Ranrahirca was completely washed away by an ice and rrock avalanche that fell from Huascarán ((4,000 died). The most tragic earthquake in the history of the Western Hemisphere occurred May 31, 1970. Measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, this earthquake destroyed most of the city of Huaraz and severely damaged other cities of the Callejón de Huaylas, the Conchucos and the coast of Ancash, causing a total of 70,000 deaths and 250,000 casualties. The earthquake dislodged an enormous block of ice from the north peak of Huascarán, producing a huge avalanche of mud and stones that completely buried the city of Yungay in a matter of minutes. An estimated 18,000 people perished and the only survivors were those who fled to the highest part of the local cemetery.