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Piura (pyōˈrä) [key], city (1993 pop. 199,484), capital of Piura dept., NW Peru, in the irrigated Piura valley of the Peruvian coastal desert. It is the commercial center for the region's cotton, sugarcane, and rice crops. Textiles are its principal manufacture. San Miguel de Piura, the first settlement in Peru, was founded on the coast by Francisco Pizarro in 1532, but the site was unhealthful, and the settlement was moved to the present Piura. From there, in 1533, Sebastián de Benalcázar set out on his conquest of Ecuador. Piura was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1912.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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