Earthquake in Ecuador kills at least 12 with magnitude 6.8 tremors
A powerful earthquake has rattled southern Ecuador and northern Peru, killing at least a dozen people, trapping others under rubble and sending rescue teams onto streets littered with debris and downed power lines.
The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude 6.8 earthquake that centered just off the Pacific coast, about 80 kilometers south of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s second-largest city.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Ecuador Earthquake: Magnitude 6.9 shakes Guayas region.
Watch the latest news on Channel 7 or stream for free on 7plus >>
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso said in a televised address to the nation that Saturday’s earthquake killed 12 people.
One victim was a passenger in a vehicle that was crushed by debris from a house in the Andean community of Cuenca, according to the Risk Management Secretariat, the South American country’s emergency response agency.
In the coastal state of El Oro, three people died and several were trapped under debris, the agency reported.
“We all ran out into the street… we were very scared,” said Ernesto Alvarado, a resident of Isla Puna, an island near the epicenter, adding that some houses had collapsed.
In the community of Machala, a two-story house collapsed before people could flee, a pier gave way and the walls of a building caved in, trapping an unknown number of people.
The agency said firefighters were working to save people while the National Police surveyed the damage. Their work was complicated by downed wires that disrupted phone and electricity service.
In Guayaquil, about 270 km southwest of the capital Quito, authorities reported cracks in buildings and houses and some collapsed walls.
Authorities ordered the closure of three vehicle tunnels in Guayaquil, which anchors a metro area with a population of more than three million.
According to the Geophysics Institute of Ecuador, the first tremor was followed by two weaker aftershocks in the hour that followed.
The earthquake was also felt in Peru, from the northern border with Ecuador to the central Pacific coast. No dead or injured were immediately reported. In the northern region of Tumbes, the old walls of an army barracks collapsed, authorities said.
Ecuador is particularly prone to earthquakes. In 2016, an earthquake centered further north on the Pacific coast killed more than 600 people in a sparsely populated area of the country.
https://7news.com.au/news/world/at-least-12-dead-as-massive-68-magnitude-earthquake-rocks-ecuador-c-10083832 Earthquake in Ecuador kills at least 12 with magnitude 6.8 tremors