At least 14 killed as strong quake jolts Ecuador and Peru

CUENCA (Ecuador), March 19 — At minimum 14 persons have been killed, quite a few had been wounded and properties were broken in a impressive earthquake that shook Peru and Ecuador yesterday, authorities claimed.

Wrecked structures, crushed automobiles and debris could be found in metropolitan areas this kind of as Machala and Cuenca in Ecuador, as rescue officers rushed to lend aid and panicked residents ran into the streets.

The quake, which the United States Geological Survey (USGS) put at a magnitude of 6.8 and a depth of almost 66 kilometres, struck at 1712 GMT (1.12am Malaysian time currently).

Its epicentre was in the Ecuadoran municipality of Balao, in close proximity to the border with Peru, authorities claimed.

”I went out into the street because I noticed men and women commencing to operate in stress, receiving out of their cars and trucks,” Magaly Escandon, a sewing materials saleswoman in Cuenca, advised AFP.

Ecuador’s presidency noted 13 useless — 11 in the province of El Oro and two in the province of Azuay.

In the Peruvian town of Tumbes on the border with Ecuador, a four-yr-previous woman died after a brick strike her on the head, in accordance to an formal report.

”There in which the pool of blood is, I was taking part in with my niece and a brick fell on her,” her uncle David Alvarado informed AFP.

The tremor was also strongly felt in other towns which include Guayaquil, Quito, Manabi and Manta, social media experiences reported.

Ecuador’s presidency described that “there are injured men and women who are remaining handled immediately in hospitals,” but did not give any figures.

AFP journalists in the city also reported that old houses in the historic centre had been damaged. — AFP pic

AFP journalists in the town also claimed that previous homes in the historic centre experienced been damaged. — AFP pic

Continue to be ‘calm’

President Guillermo Lasso traveled to El Oro, wherever he frequented the wounded in a medical center, and will up coming head to Azuay.

”I have just finished traveling to the metropolis of Machala… I have ratified authorities guidance, the availability of resources,” he explained in a online video posted on Twitter.

Earlier in the day he urged folks to stay “calm and to be informed as a result of formal channels” about problems to buildings.

According to Quito’s Danger Administration Place of work, the facade of a household collapsed on a car and still left “a deceased person” in Cuenca. AFP journalists in the city also noted that aged residences in the historic centre experienced been damaged.

Streets around Cuenca have been moreover blocked by landsides.

Close by, in the province of El Oro, a few men and women were being claimed lifeless when a tower toppled and fatally crushed them.

The earthquake shook the north and central coasts of Peru with considerably less intensity. In Tumbes, it weakened 12 households, according to an formal report.

”It is a reasonably superior magnitude for what we have in the country,” stated Mario Ruiz, director of the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute in an interview with FM Mundo radio.

Peruvian seismological authorities originally reported a magnitude of 7., but hours afterwards downgraded the magnitude to 6.7.

A 1st aftershock of magnitude 4.8 was recorded in Balao, Ecuador. The Ecuadoran navy stated there was no tsunami danger.

In 2016, a quake with a magnitude of 7.8 strike Ecuador’s western provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas, killing 673 persons and leading to an estimated US$3 billion in problems. — AFP