On May 31, 1970, an area of about 83,000 square kilometers (32,000 square miles) in north-central Peru was devastated by one of the worst earthquakes ever to occur in the Western Hemisphere. Major cities and towns in both the mountain and coastal regions were leveled, along with hundreds of rural villages. Official estimates list 70,000 people killed, 100,000 injured and 500,000 left homeless.