Peru’s capital highly vulnerable to major quake

In this Nov. 26, 2012 photo, shack homes recently built on the top of a mountain overlook some of the most exclusives neighborhoods in the background, like La Molina, Miraflores, and Barrancoare, seen from the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Seismologists, engineers and civil defense officials agree that Lima is due for an earthquake but is acutely vulnerable and sorely unprepared. More than two in five of capital residents inhabit rickety structures built on unstable, sandy soil and wetlands, which amplify a quake's destructive power, or in the hillside settlements ringing the capital that sprang up spontaneously over a generation as people fled conflict and poverty in the interior, experts say. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)The earthquake all but flattened colonial Lima, the shaking so violent that people tossed to the ground couldn't get back up. Minutes later, a 50-foot (15-meter) wall of Pacific Ocean crashed into the adjacent port of Callao, killing all but 200 of its 5,000 inhabitants. Bodies washed ashore for weeks.