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Peru Ends Search for Quake Survivors, Focus Turns to Recovery, Reconstruction


Authorities in Peru are winding up rescue operations following last week's earthquake and are shifting their attention to recovering bodies, providing aid and reconstruction.

Officials say there is little chance of finding anyone alive under the rubble in the southern port city of Pisco, one of the areas devastated by the earthquake. Wednesday's 8.0 magnitude quake killed at least 540 people, including about 300 in Pisco.

Aid groups are distributing water, food and clothing to residents in Pisco, but damage to roads there and other port cities has crippled access to the area.

The two-minute-long quake left at least 1,500 people injured and thousands homeless. Relief workers say many families are staying out in the open because of aftershocks, increasing the risk of becoming ill from the cold.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia has appealed for calm as relief workers try to deliver aid to survivors. The president has said he understands people's desperation but promised no one would die of hunger or thirst. He has promised that quake-hit areas will be rebuilt.

Offers of assistance have been flowing in from the United States, several Latin American countries, Europe, the International Red Cross and the United Nations.

Bolivian President Evo Morales says he and his vice president, Alvaro Garcia, will donate half of their salaries to the Peru quake victims. President Morales also says Bolivian Cabinet ministers will donate 25 percent of their salaries to help Peruvians.

Some information for this report was provided by AP , Bloomberg and Reuters.

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