Rescuers: 'No Hope' of Finding More Survivors of Peruvian Quake

Rescuers said there was "no hope" of finding anyone else alive in the rubble of this southern port city leveled by a magnitude-8 earthquake that left at least 540 people dead.

"We've stopped the rescue work," said Jorge Vera, a firefighter who led the operation to find survivors at the San Clemente church in Pisco, on Sunday. "We're now working to recover the bodies."

Firefighter Guillermo Merino said 148 bodies had been removed from the debris of the church that came crashing down during Wednesday's quake, in which 1,500 people also were injured. The church's domed ceiling broke apart over some 300 congregants in shaking that lasted an agonizing two minutes.

• PHOTO ESSAY: Deadly Earthquake in Peru

Rafael Loza, a Peruvian rescuer who was using an infrared camera to find survivors in Pisco, said that "there's no hope in finding anyone alive." He said the dust generated when the flimsy adobe buildings crumbled would have choked anyone still stuck in the rubble.

Friday was the last time a survivor was pulled from the quake's debris.

Local media reported late Sunday that a 12-year-old boy in the nearby village of Guadalupe was killed when a wall of his house fell on top of him following an aftershock that the U.S. Geological Survey measured as a 5.6-magnitude quake.

President Alan Garcia told a news conference in Pisco that the government was preparing plans to rebuild the city, which lost 85 percent of its houses.

He said that 1,200 soldiers had restored calm to the streets where days earlier hungry quake victims looted aid trucks and markets. There have been no reports of attempted looting since Saturday.

Some 280 planes arrived with 600 tons of food and other supplies destined for quake survivors, and navy ships had brought potable water, Garcia said. "No one is going to die of thirst or hunger in these cities," he said.

Long lines emerged in the rubble-strewn streets of Pisco, while aid groups parked trucks and distributed water, food, clothing and other supplies.

The distribution was orderly, whereas the day before crowds rushed an army truck when it ran out of the crackers, candy and toilet paper.

But aid was still slow reaching the outlying areas of Pisco, 125 miles southeast of Lima.

Teresa Casavilca, 40, walked and hitchhiked in search of food with her 1-year-old son, wrapped in a flowered sheet on her back, from her rural home about six miles outside of Pisco.

"The planes with help go by every moment," Casavilca said. "Where does that help go? Nothing gets to us. My son cries all night from the cold because we're sleeping outside."

Only a trickle of aid was reaching hard-hit mountain communities further inland, said Yerma Canales, director of social services in Castrovirreyna, 140 miles southeast of Lima.

"Help has not gotten to us yet, just a minimal part," Canales said.

She said the region's adobe houses were severely damaged in the quake. Families moved outdoors for their safety, where children are falling ill in the cold weather.

"People are no longer sleeping in their homes," Canales said. "They are going to parks, fields and open ground because aftershocks are happening all the time."

Aid workers estimated during the weekend that up to 80 percent of people in urban quake-hit areas may not have access to clean water.