Earthquake kills at least 14 in Ecuador and Peru

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Equake kills at least 14 in Ecuador and Peru

A damaged car and the rubble of an earthquake-affected house in Cuenca, Ecuador, on March 18, 2023.

At least 14 people died and several were injured in an earthquake in southern Ecuador on Saturday that caused extensive damage and also affected neighboring Peru, according to a official report.

According to the American Seismological Institute USGS, the magnitude of the earthquake reached 6.8. The Ecuadorian authorities for their part evaluated the magnitude at 6.5, and those of Peru at 6.7.

Ecuador's presidency reported 13 deaths, including 11 in El Oro province and two in Azuay province, in the southwest of the country, and several injured, without specify the number.

In the Peruvian town of Tumbes, on the border with Ecuador, a four-year-old girl was killed by a brick falling on her the head, according to the authorities.

Where the pool of blood is, she was playing with my other niece and a block fell on her, told AFP David Alvarado, uncle of the child.

The earthquake occurred at 12:12 p.m. (1712 GMT), at a depth of 44 km, with the epicenter in the city of Balao, about 140 km south of the large port of Guayaquil. It caused panic among residents who took to the streets. Dwellings collapsed in several cities, including Cuenca (Azuay province), one of the most affected.

I went out into the street because I saw people running, terrified, others getting out of cars, told AFP Magaly Escandón, seller of articles of couture in this Andean city. They were running, they were screaming, they were crying, she added.

In the historic center of Cuenca, AFP journalists saw collapsed buildings, damaged old houses, cracked walls and crushed vehicles. Several streets in this city were blocked due to landslides caused by the earthquake.

The earthquake was felt even in the capital Quito, according to testimonies on social networks.

I appeal for calm and s& #x27;to inform through official channels, tweeted Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, who immediately traveled to the province of El Oro and then headed to the city of Cuenca to see the earthquake damage.

The memory of the devastating earthquake that shook Ecuador in 2016 is still fresh in people's minds. With a magnitude of 7.8, the quake claimed 673 lives and destroyed coastal villages. The losses had been estimated at more than three billion euros.

This is a relatively high magnitude for […] the country, explained in an interview with on local radio FM Mundo Mario Ruiz, director of the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute, about Saturday's earthquake. In the region of the Gulf of Guayaquil, we have had since 2017 […] about two earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 5.0 per year, he found.

After 12:13 p.m., the largest aftershock occurred at 12:22 p.m., Ruiz added, noting that there were eight aftershocks in total.

< p class="e-p">According to the Oceanographic and Antarctic Institute of the Ecuadorian Navy, the tremor does not meet the conditions likely to generate a tsunami in the Pacific.

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