Ecuador earthquake kills at least 12, wreaks havoc

A strong earthquake shook the region around Ecuador’s second-largest city on Saturday, killing at least 12 people, damaging homes and buildings and sending panicked residents into the streets.

The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in the Guayas coastal region of the country. It was centered about 80 kilometers south of Guayaquil, which anchors a metropolitan area of ​​more than 3 million people.

The South American country’s emergency aid agency, the Risk Management Secretariat, reported that one person has died in the Andean community of Cuenca. The victim was a passenger in a vehicle trapped under the rubble of a home.

In Guayaquil, about 170 miles southwest of the capital Quito, authorities reported cracks in buildings and homes, as well as some collapsed walls. Authorities have ordered the closure of three tunnels to vehicles.

Videos shared on social media show people gathering in the streets of Guayaquil and nearby communities. People reported objects falling into their homes.

A pier has sunk in the city of Machala. The earthquake was also felt in northern Peru.

In 2019, a very powerful one earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale struck southern Ecuadorclose to the country’s border with Peru.

This is a breaking news story. Check back later for updates.

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