Earthquake in Ecuador kills at least 16 people
At least 16 people died after magnitude A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit southern Ecuador on Saturday afternoon, government officials said.
The quake struck near the southern city of Balao and was over 65 km (nearly 41 miles) deep. according to US Geological Survey.
An estimated 381 people were injured in the earthquake, the General Secretariat for Public Affairs under the President of Ecuador said on its official account.
At least 11 people have died in the province of El Oro. At least one more death has been reported in the province of Azuay, according to the Department of Communications of the President of Ecuador. In an earlier statement, authorities said a man in Azuay was killed when a wall collapsed onto a car and that at least three victims in El Oro died when a security camera tower collapsed.
The injured are being treated in hospitals, the president added, but did not provide details.
The US Geological Survey reported a jolt “orange alert” saying that “significant casualties are possible and the disaster is potentially widespread.”
“Past events at this level of danger have required a regional or national response,” the USGS added. He also assessed the damage and possible economic losses.
Relatives of a CNN producer in a western port city Guayaquil said they felt “very strong” tremors.
CNN affiliate Ecuador reported structural damage to buildings in Cuenca, one of the country’s largest cities. The historic city is on the list of UN World Heritage Sites.
According to the department, there is no tsunami warning in the region. US National Weather Service.
The Guayaquil and Cuenca airports remain open and operational, the country said in a statement.