A Matter of Seconds

Surrounded by its terraced fields, 11,000 feet up in the high Andes, the 900-year-old Inca capital of Cusco has endured conquistadors, tourists, fires, famines, and innumerable earthquakes. Last week Cusco (pop. 50,000) shook to new tremors. Ancient Spanish churches and precolonial Indian monuments which had survived even the great quake of 1650, toppled into the narrow, cobbled streets. In a matter of seconds, some 50 people were killed, 250 injured. One-fifth of the old stone-and-adobe city was destroyed.

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