Ecuador: At least 15 dead and hundreds injured in a magnitude 6.8 earthquake


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At least 15 people were killed and hundreds more injured by the powerful quake that struck Ecuador’s coastal provinces on Saturday and was felt in northern Peru.

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According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 (6.7 according to the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center). Its epicenter was located at a distance of about 10 kilometers from the city of Balao, Gaya province, and the focal depth is estimated at 66 kilometers.

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, asked the public to remain calm and assured that crews have been mobilized in the affected areas to provide assistance to those in need. At the same time, he expressed his sadness for the loss of life and his solidarity with the victims of the earthquake.

Ecuador: Dead and injured by the earthquake

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Ecuador’s presidential office says 14 people have been killed and more than 380 injured, the majority in El Oro province. At least 44 houses collapsed, while another 90 suffered significant damage. Damage has been reported to around 50 schools and 30 health centers, while roads have been blocked due to landslides. The Santa Rosa airport sustained limited damage but remained operational.

The Disaster Management Secretariat said earlier that state oil company Petroecuador has suspended operations and evacuated many of its facilities as a precaution.

“We all ran out into the street…we were very scared,” said Ernesto Alvarado, a resident of Isla Punia, an island near the epicenter, where some houses collapsed.

The initial quake was followed by two weaker aftershocks.

In northern Peru, where the quake was particularly felt, the death of a child was reported. In the city of Tumbes, near the border with Ecuador, a 4-year-old girl was fatally injured by a brick that fell on her head, Agence France-Presse reported.

source: iefi merida

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