Earthquake hit Ecuador’s debt to Peru, leaving two dead (Photo: ERNANDO MACHADO / AFP) A magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck southern Ecuador and also neighboring Peru killed at least 14 people, injured several and buildings corrupted to official records.
The quake struck at 12:12 p.m. local time (16:12 GMT) and had its epicenter in the Ecuadorian municipality of Balao, about 140 km from the port of Guayaquil, and at a depth of 44 km, authorities said.
The Presidency of Ecuador published on Twitter a record of 12 deaths: 11 in El Oro province and one in Azuay province. He also pointed out that “there are injured people who are being treated in hospitals in a timely manner,” but did not give any figures.
In the Peruvian city of Tumbes on the border with Ecuador, a fouryearold girl died after being hit in the head by a brick, officials said.
“Where is the pool of blood, I was playing with my other niece and a block fell on her,” David Alvarado, the child’s uncle, told AFP.
The earthquake was felt most severely in southern Ecuador, where people took to the streets. One of the hardest hit cities was Cuenca.
“People ran out, screamed in despair, everyone got out of their cars in despair (…), they ran, screamed, cried,” Magaly Escandn, a sewing goods saleswoman in the Andean city, told AFP.
In Cuenca, the facade of a house collapsed on a vehicle, leaving “one person dead”. Nearby, in El Oro province, three people died when a tower collapsed, according to the Ecuadorian Risk Management Secretariat.
The earthquake caused buildings to collapse, walls to shatter and vehicles to be crushed by debris. In the historic center of Cuenca, some old houses were damaged. Some roads near the community were blocked by landslides.
Other cities such as Quito, Manab and Manta also felt the tremors, according to users on social networks.
Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso called for “calm and information through official channels” on Twitter.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the event had a magnitude of 6.8.
In a statement, the Chilean government expressed its “solidarity” with the victims in Ecuador, saying that there have been no reports of Chileans affected by the earthquake so far.
With less intensity, the earthquake hit the north and central coasts of Peru. According to an official report, 46 people and 12 households were affected in Tumbes.
The country’s seismological authorities reported a magnitude of 7.0 at the time of the quake, but corrected the measurement to 6.7 hours later.
two a year
The fire brigade and police have been working since noon to remove the rubble and rescue possible victims.
The memory of the devastating earthquake of 2016 is still in the air in Ecuador. Measuring 7.8 magnitude, the quake left 673 dead and destroyed coastal towns with nearly $3.3 billion in damage.
“A relatively high strength for what we have in the country. In the area of the Gulf of Guayaquil, since 2017, we have had more or less about two earthquakes with a magnitude of more than 5.0 per year,” Director Mario Ruiz of the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute said in an interview with Radio FM Mundo.
According to the Oceanographic and Antarctic Institute of the Ecuadorian Navy, the quake in the Pacific “does not meet the necessary conditions to trigger a tsunami”.