Powerful earthquake kills at least 13 in Ecuador and Peru

Powerful earthquake kills at least 13 in Ecuador and Peru


A powerful earthquake on Saturday left at least 13 people dead, several injured and significant damage in southern Ecuador and neighboring Peru, according to an official report. 

The American Seismological Institute USGS specified that its magnitude had reached 6.8.

The Ecuadorian presidency reported on Twitter 12 deaths, including 11 in the province of El Oro and one in the province of Azuay.

In the Peruvian town of Tumbes, bordering Ecuador, a four-year-old girl died, hit in the head by a falling brick, according to an official report.

The earthquake also caused “injuries” who were treated by hospitals, said the Ecuadorian presidency without giving figures.

The earthquake, which caused significant material damage, was occurred at 12:12 p.m. (1712 GMT) with an epicenter in Balao commune at a depth of 44 kilometers, authorities said.

The earthquake caused panic among residents who took to the streets . Buildings collapsed in several cities, including Cuenca, one of the hardest hit.

“I went out into the street because I saw people running, terrified, others getting out of cars,” Magaly Escandón, a sewing items seller in this Andean city, told AFP. /p>

Collapsed buildings, cracked walls, vehicles crushed by debris. In the historic center of Cuenca, old houses were damaged, AFP journalists reported.

The earthquake was felt in Quito, Manabi and Manta, according to accounts on social media.

Ecuadorian President , Guillermo Lasso, issued a “call for calm and information through official channels” in a message on Twitter.

According to the Oceanographic and Antarctic Institute of the Ecuadorian Navy, the tremor “does not does not meet the conditions likely to generate a tsunami” in the Pacific.