The magnitude-6 earthquake that hit northern Peru this weekend damaged several churches in Sechura, a province in Piura region, media reports said.

The earthquake occurred at 6:51 p.m. Saturday and had its epicenter in the Pacific Ocean, the Peruvian Geophysics Institute, or IGP, said.

The quake's epicenter was located 38 kilometers (nearly 24 miles) west of Sechura and 146 kilometers (90 miles) west of Olmos, the IGP said.

The tower of the church in Sechura sustained minor damage, while one of the towers of San Clemente Church was damaged, RPP Noticias reported.

Emergency management office personnel are inspecting buildings in Sechura and providing assistance to residents, RPP Noticias said.

The temblor in northern Peru on Saturday evening was not related to the magnitude-6.1 quake that hit the southern part of the country earlier in the day, IGP director Hernan Tavera told RPP Noticias.

Both earthquakes were caused by shifting plates under the ocean, Tavera said.

Peru is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region of frequent quakes and volcano activity.

The Pacific Ring of Fire accounts for about 85 percent of the world's seismic activity.

A magnitude-5.6 earthquake injured 16 people in Ica, a region in southern Peru, in February. EFE