The massive earthquake that struck just off Peru’s coast Wednesday night has killed at least 510 people, and scientists say that powerful aftershocks could continue for weeks. The initial quake, which registered 8.0 on the Richter Scale, has given way to smaller but still forceful aftereffects in the magnitude-6 range.

The epicenter was 95 miles from Lima – if it had occurred any closer it surely would have taken more lives in the city of millions – but it has still left a huge section of the country in chaos. The port city of Pisco bore the brunt of the damage. At last count, 300 were killed there. Nearby, the quake knocked down a wall in a prison, allowing 680 prisoners to escape, only 29 of whom have been recaptured. The details in this New York Times story are absolutely frightening.—Gregory Mone