May 31, 1970. A powerful, 7.7 Richter earthquake in central Peru killed 70,000 people. Ten thousand were killed in the town of Huaraz, climbing center for Huascaran, the highest mountain in Peru at 22,000 feet, and the town was reduced to rubble. In the town of Yungay, a few miles north of Huaraz, all 18,000 inhabitants were killed when a huge piece of ice broke from the top of Huascaran and created a massive ice and mud slide traveling at 150 miles per hour. Only the 300 children away on a field trip to a circus survived.
The only surviving structure was the front of the church which stood on the central plaza, and still stands in the memorial park with the beautiful Huascaran in the distance.
Tragedy on an unimaginable scale. Sometimes Mother Nature isn't so motherly.