Deaths reported after strong earthquake 80 km south of Ecuador’s second city | Ecuador
A strong earthquake rocked the region around Ecuador’s second-largest city on Saturday, killing at least four people, damaging homes and buildings and sending panicked residents onto the streets.
The US Geological Survey reported a 6.7 magnitude earthquake in the coastal region of Guayas. Its center was about 80 kilometers south of Guayaquil, which has a metropolitan area of more than 3 million people.
The country’s president, Guillermo Lasso, tweeted a message asking residents to stay calm.
The South American country’s emergency response agency, the Secretariat for Risk Management, reported that one person died in the Andean community of Cuenca. The victim was a passenger in a vehicle stuck under the rubble of a house. Three other people died in the coastal state of El Oro, the agency reported.
In Guayaquil, about 270 km southwest of the capital, Quito, authorities reported cracks in buildings and houses, as well as collapsed walls. Authorities have ordered the closure of three vehicle tunnels.
Videos shared on social media show people gathering in the streets of Guayaquil and nearby communities and people reporting objects falling inside their homes.
A video uploaded showed three TV presenters jumping out of their studio office as their whole shook. They initially tried to dismiss the tremors as a minor earthquake, but quickly ran away from the camera. One presenter indicated that the show would take a commercial break, while another repeated, “My God, my God.”
The quake also hit the town of Machala where a pier sank and it was felt in northern Peru.