Earthquake in Southern Ecuador kills at least 12


At least 12 people have died after a powerful earthquake hit the southern coast of Ecuador.

Buildings have been destroyed in many cities after the 6.7 magnitude earthquake, which struck around noon local time (17:00 GMT).

The southern part of El Oro was the hardest hit, where emergency services reported people still trapped in collapsed buildings.

Eleven deaths were in El Oro and one in Azuay province, authorities said.

Machala and Cuenca were among the cities that suffered the destruction of houses and cars, while emergency services rushed to help people.

The center was near Balao, about 80km from the second city of Ecuador, Guayaquil, where about three million people live.

“I went out into the street because I saw people starting to run, getting out of their cars,” Magaly Escandon, a businessman in Cuenca, told the AFP news agency. .

President Guillermo Lasso asked Ecuadorians to remain calm while officials assessed the damage.

“Emergency teams are on the way to offer all their support to those affected,” he said.

Lasso’s office also confirmed that the injured are being treated at the hospital, but did not offer further details.

Many roads have been blocked by landslides, while many homes, schools and health centers have been damaged, authorities said.

One person was reported killed in the city of Cuenca when an explosive device fell on their car, while three people were killed when a security camera tower collapsed on Jambelí Island.

There were also reports of the earthquake being felt in many other cities, including Manabi, Manta and the capital Quito.

It was the strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador since 2016, when nearly 700 people died and thousands were injured.

Officials in Peru said the earthquake was felt in the northern part of the country, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.


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