A member of Peru’s Civil Defence, stands guard at the port of El Callao in Lima
Large tsunami waves from Japan's powerful earthquake destroyed some coastal buildings in Peru and caused some flooding early Saturday, but otherwise had little effect on Latin America's Pacific nations, reports AFP.
Authorities were studying the impact from the tsunami unleashed by the devastating 8.9 magnitude quake that hit Friday in Japan.
Civil defence officials in Peru had ordered the evacuation of Pisco and Paracas, two towns south of Lima that suffered the effects of a tsunami triggered by a powerful earthquake in 2007, as well as Camana, struck by a tsunami in 2001.
In the town of Pueblo Nuevo de Colan, in the far northern Piura region, the ocean withdrew some 200 meters from the beach early Saturday before returning with force and destroying several seaside homes, said Mayor Raymundo Dioses.
The first tsunami waves measured nearly 1.5 meters at their highest when they hit around 0050 GMT Saturday, the Peruvian navy said.
Major tsunamis revive memories in Peru of a devastating 1687 tsunami that destroyed Callao -- the country's main port just west of Lima -- along with dozens of coastal towns.
Preparing for the worst, prison authorities emptied a Callao maximum security prison holding Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman, senior Tupac Amaru guerrilla leaders, and Vladimiro Montesinos, a jailed top aide to disgraced ex-president, Alberto Fujimori.
In Ecuador, the country's state-run oil company, Petroecuador, said Saturday it resumed oil crude exports and fuel imports at 0500 GMT after suspending operations Friday due to the tsunami threat.
President Rafael Correa on Saturday reported "minimum damage" from the tsunami and no casualties.
A storm surge hit the island of San Cristobal in Ecuador's Galapagos Island chain some 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) west of the mainland and caused some flooding, Correa said.
Officials had ordered nearly 243,000 people evacuated from coastal areas of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Further south in Chile -- still recovering from the 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck the country in late February 2010 -- President Sebastian Pinera said a coastal evacuation he ordered saved lives.
Most of the 524 people who died in the 2010 Chile quake were killed by giant waves that swept away coastal hamlets. Critics blasted the government for delays in issuing tsunami warnings and ordering evacuations.
Mexicoreported waves up to 70 centimetres (2.3 feet) above normal, but no damage or victims.
The only known death in the hemisphere was an American who was swept away while trying to take pictures at a beach in California.