Huaráz or Huarás (both: wäräsˈ) [key], city (1993 pop. 44,037), capital of Huaráz prov. and Ancash dept., W central Peru. It is in a high valley at an altitude of 9,931 ft (3,027 m), and has a population that is mainly of indigenous descent. Huaráz is the center of an agricultural district raising grains, potatoes, and corn. Some minerals (silver, cinnabar, and coal) are mined. Huascarán peak forms a superb backdrop to the city. In 1941 an avalanche of mud and water wiped out a large section of the city and killed some 6,000 people. In 1970 the city was struck by an earthquake that left nearly 10,000 dead.