6.7-magnitude earthquake in Ecuador kills at least 4, causes wide damage
A strong earthquake shook the region around Ecuador’s second largest city on Saturday, killing at least four people, damaging houses and buildings and driving panicked residents into the streets.
The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in the country’s coastal Guayas region. It was located about 80 kilometers south of Guayaquil, which anchors a metropolitan area of over 3 million people.
President Guillermo Lasso tweeted a message urging residents to remain calm.
The South American country’s emergency agency, the Risk Management Secretariat, reported the death of one person in the Andean community of Cuenca. The victim was a passenger in a vehicle that was trapped under the rubble of a house. Three other people died in the coastal state of El Oro, the agency reported.
In Guayaquil, about 270 kilometers southwest of the capital Quito, the authorities reported cracks in buildings and houses and some collapsed walls. The authorities ordered the closure of three car tunnels.
Videos shared on social media show people gathered on the streets of Guayaquil and in surrounding communities. People reported objects falling into their homes.
A video posted online showed three anchors of a show dart from their studio table as the set wobbled. They initially tried to shake it off as a slight tremor, but soon fled the camera. One host hinted that the show would be going on a commercial break, while another reiterated, “My god, my god.”
A pier sank in the town of Machala. The earthquake was also felt in northern Peru.
Associated Press writer Regina Garcia Cano contributed to this report from Caracas, Venezuela.
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