A strong tremor struck off the coast of Ecuador around 1 p.m. Saturday, killing at least one person. The United States Geological Survey reported that the quake had a magnitude of 6.7 on the Richter scale.
The Risk Management Secretariat reported that the person who lost his life was in the city of Cuenca. The victim was trapped inside a vehicle on which the facade of a house collapsed as a result of the earthquake.
The Geophysical Institute of Ecuador reported that the epicenter was recorded about 29 kilometers from Balao, in the Guayas region, about 80 kilometers south of Guayaquil, the second largest city in Ecuador.
The president called for calm and “inquire through official channels” in a message on his social networks.
The Oceanographic Institute of Ecuador assured that the characteristics of the earthquake do not meet the conditions to generate a tsunami on the country’s coast.
Guillermo Lasso, president of Ecuador, said that he contacted the Risk Management Secretariat “to evaluate the effects produced by (the) earthquake that occurred a moment ago in Balao, Guayas.”
The Monitoring Unit of the Secretariat for Risk Management reported that the earthquake was felt in 13 provinces of the country. The provinces where it was felt most intensely were Guayas, Manabí, Los Ríos, Chimborazo and El Oro.
In those that were felt with moderate intensity were Loja, Morona-Santiago, Azuay, Tungurahua, Bolívar, Cañar, Cotopaxi and Pichincha.
The quake was also felt in northern Peru.
According to videos and images posted on Twitter, the worst effects were felt in Guayaquil, Cuenca and Machala, in southern Ecuador.
The videos show the fear experienced by hundreds of people as they tried to escape from buildings and houses at noon on Saturday.
Several people reported objects falling inside their homes in Guayaquil, which anchors an urban area with more than 3 million inhabitants, some 270 kilometers southwest of the capital, Quito.
The Guayaquil and Cuenca airports are operating without incident, authorities reported.
News in development
Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our channelYoutube and activate notifications, or follow us on social networks: Facebook, Twitter and instagram.
Source: VOA Español