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A 5.2 magnitude earthquake in Peru has left at least four people dead and 40 injured, a civil defence official said.

The toll from Sunday night's quake in the southern Arequipa region might rise after about 50 homes collapsed and roads were cut off, the official told AFP.

Earthquakes are fairly common in Peru but this one hit at a shallow depth of eight kilometers so damage could be heavy near the epicenter.

The epicenter was 10 kilometers from the city of Chivay, capital of Caylloma province, according to the Geophysical Institute of Peru.

Two aftershocks hit Monday morning.

The quake caused damage throughout an area of Arequipa called the Colca Valley, and several villages have been cut off.

"We are asking for heavy machinery to gain access. There are fatalities," the mayor of Caylloma, Romulo Tinta, told RPP radio.

More than 80 homes have been left uninhabitable, but crews cannot reach the epicenter, said the governor of Arequipa region, Yamila Osorio.

Source: AFP