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6.8 magnitude earthquake strikes Ecuador, at least 12 dead Reuters – Worlds News Dock
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6.8 magnitude earthquake strikes Ecuador, at least 12 dead Reuters

5/5

© Reuters. A damaged car and the wreckage of an earthquake-hit house in Cuenca, Ecuador. March 18, 2023 REUTERS/Rafa Idrovo Espinoza 2/5

Alexandra Valencia

QUITO (Reuters) – At least 12 people were killed in a massive earthquake that hit coastal Ecuador and northern Peru at noon on Saturday, damaging several homes, schools and health centers.

“Emergency groups are mobilizing to offer all their support to those affected,” Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso tweeted.

An earthquake of magnitude 6.8, estimated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), struck at a depth of 66.4 km (41.3 miles) about 10 km (6.2 miles) from the city of Balao in Guayas province.

The authorities said that the earthquake could not cause a tsunami.

The President’s News Agency said the quake killed 11 people in El Oro province and one death in Asuay province, while several people were treated for injuries in hospitals.

The agency also said that several houses, educational buildings and medical centers were damaged and several roads were blocked by landslides caused by the earthquake. Santa Rosa Airport received minor damage but continued to operate.

Ecuador’s Secretariat for Risk Management said in an earlier statement that the death in Azuay province was the result of a wall collapsing on a car. In other provinces, structural damage included the collapse of a wharf and the collapse of a wall in a supermarket.

The agency said state oil company Petroecuador evacuated and suspended operations at several facilities as a precaution, but did not report any damage.

“We all ran outside … we were very scared,” Ernesto Alvarado, a resident of Isla Puna near the epicenter, told Reuters, adding that some houses had collapsed.

The initial quake was followed by two smaller aftershocks over the next hour, according to the Institute of Geophysics of Ecuador.

Peruvian authorities said the quake was felt in the northern region of the country and that there were no immediate reports of casualties or casualties.

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