Today's Nazca town is on the site where the ancient Nazca civilization was based, after the fall of its first capital, Cahuachi, in around AD 400. Nazca is one of the driest places in the world with average annual precipitation up to a meager 4 millimeters.
On 12 November 1996 a heavy earthquake of 7.5 destroyed the city of Nasca and its surroundings almost completely. Because it occurred during the day there were only 17 fatalities, but 1,500 people were injured and around 100,000 left homeless. Almost all old houses made of brick were destroyed, but within 12 years Nasca has been completely rebuilt.