At least 14 people were killed and several buildings were damaged by the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck western Ecuador on Saturday.
The quake was also felt in northern Peru. As you will see in the videos circulating on Twitter showing the moment of the earthquake, the image, the noise and the panic are shocking.
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.
Earthquake in Ecuador: Buildings have been damaged
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 office of the Ecuadorian presidency reports that 15 people have died, while several injured have been taken to hospitals. Homes, schools and health centers have been damaged, while roads have been blocked by landslides. The Santa Rosa airport sustained limited damage but remained operational.
The Disaster Management Secretariat said in a statement that a wall collapsed and crushed a vehicle, killing one person in the city of Cuenca. In the Matsala community, three people were killed and buildings collapsed, while many villages were without power. Damage was also reported in other areas, such as a supermarket where a wall collapsed.
According to the ministry, state oil company Petroecuador 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 smaller aftershocks.
In Peru, the quake was felt in the northern provinces but at the moment there are no reports of damage or casualties.
source: iefi merida