Pisco, Peru: Peru's president on Friday appealed to desperate survivors of an earthquake that killed at least 510 people to remain calm as his government struggles to provide aid.
"Nobody is going to die of hunger or thirst," President Alan Garcia said following complaints aid was not arriving fast enough for thousands who lost loved ones, homes and belongings in Wednesday's temblor.
"In 10 days, we'll have a situation approaching normality," said Garcia, though he acknowledged reconstruction would take far longer - a fact obvious in the gritty port city of Pisco, where officials said 85 per cent of the downtown was destroyed.
The port city's centre was a collection of rubble piles abbreviated by half-collapsed hulks on Friday. Even the structures still standing aren't livable.
People awoke in streets littered with downed power and telephone lines, huddling around fires and wrapped in blankets.
Powerful aftershocks rattled rescuers as they clawed through rubble in a desperate search for survivors - two days after a massive earthquake claimed some 500 lives.
Two tremors shook the city after dawn, among the 18 aftershocks of magnitude-5 or greater recorded since the main, magnitude-8 quake.
Peru's fire department said the death toll had risen to 510. Destruction was centred in Peru's southern desert, in the oasis city of Ica and in nearby Pisco, about 200 kilometre southeast of the capital Lima.
Searchers were still seeking bodies and survivors at the San Clemente church on Pisco's main square, where hundreds had gathered on Wednesday - the day Roman Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary's rise into heaven - in a memorial Mass for a man who died a month earlier.
Minutes before the service was to end, the church's domed ceiling began to break apart. The shaking lasted for an agonising two minutes, burying 200 people, according to the town's mayor.
About 50 bodies had been removed from the church by dawn yesterday, according to Jorge Molina, the search and rescue team leader, who still held out hope of finding more people alive.
Three bodies still lay unclaimed in body bags on the plaza, where rescue workers from Lima pitched tents and relatives held vigil.
Nearby, survivors lined up under a beating sun to receive bottled water unloaded from trucks by soldiers.
The relief effort showed signs of organisation by mid-morning, with the military clearing rubble, police identifying corpses and civil defence teams ferrying food.
Housing ministry officials started to assess who will need new homes.
Brigadier Major Jorge Vera, chief of the rescue operation, said 85 per cent of downtown Pisco had been destroyed. The centre of the city was choked with traffic, including relief vehicles.
In the cemetery, a man painted the names of the dead in black on headstones. Some 200 headstones were lined up, along with more than 30 coffins. Some burial vaults had collapsed in the quake, and crosses tumbled over.
On Thursday, relatives searching for the missing unzipped the bags lined up in the plaza, crying hysterically each time they recognised a familiar face.
One man shouted at the bodies of his wife and two small daughters as they were pulled from the rubble: "Why did you go? Why?" As dusk fell, Health Minister Carlos Vallejos said finding survivors seemed increasingly unlikely.
International help has arrived from the United States, United Nations, Red Cross and European Union in the form of tents, water, medicine and other supplies.