Ecuador, Northern Peru Shaked by 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake, but No Tsunami Warning; At Least 14 Dead
A powerful earthquake that struck a coastal area of Ecuador and northern Peru on Saturday claimed the lives of at least 14 people and damaged several houses, schools, and medical facilities structurally.
The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.8 according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), occurred at a depth of 66.4 kilometers (41.3 miles), approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the city of Balao in the province of Guayas.
According to officials, a tsunami did not seem likely to be caused by the earthquake.
"We are still on the ground assessing the damage brought on by this morning's earthquake. President of Ecuador Guillermo Lasso tweeted, "I want to reaffirm that I am with you and to convey my support and devotion to the victims.
According to the presidency's communication office, the quake left 14 people dead and more than 380 wounded, mostly in the province of El Oro.
At least 44 dwellings, according to the organization, were demolished, while another 90 were damaged. Many roads were blocked by landslides brought on by the earthquake, which also impacted more than 30 health institutions and almost 50 educational buildings. Despite modest damage, the Santa Rosa airport continued to operate.
One fatality in the province of Azuay happened as a result of a wall collapsing onto a car, according to a previous statement from Ecuador's Secretariat of Risk Management. Other provinces saw structural damage such as a dock that collapsed and a store wall that fell.
According to the agency, the state-run oil firm Petroecuador evacuated and paused operations at several sites as a precaution but did not report any damage.
"All of us sprinted into the streets... Ernesto Alvarado, an Isla Puna resident who lives close to the epicenter, told Reuters, "We were quite afraid. Several houses had fallen.
According to the Geophysics Institute of Ecuador, two lesser aftershocks occurred within an hour of the first earthquake.
The quake, according to Peruvian officials, was felt throughout the country's north, but no early reports of damage to persons or buildings were available.
Less strongly shaken by the earthquake were Peru's north and central coastlines. An official study states that it caused damage to 12 residences in Tumbes.
In an interview with FM Mundo radio, Mario Ruiz, director of the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute, stated, "That is a rather significant magnitude given what we have in the nation.
The magnitude was first listed as 7.0 by Peruvian seismological authorities, but was subsequently revised to 6.7.
At Balao, Ecuador, a first aftershock with a magnitude of 4.8 was registered. There is no tsunami danger, according to the navy of Ecuador.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador's western regions of Manabi and Esmeraldas in 2016 killed 673 people and left behind $3 billion in damage.