Ecuador earthquake kills at least 4, causes wide damage
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso tweeted a message asking residents to remain calm.
One victim was a passenger in a vehicle that was crushed by debris from a house in the Andean community of Cuenca, according to the Risk Management Secretariat, the South American country’s emergency response agency.
In the coastal state of El Oro, three people were killed and several were buried under debris, the agency reported. In the community of Machala, a two-storey house collapsed before people could evacuate, a pier gave way and the walls of the building cracked, trapping an unknown number of people.
Firefighters worked to rescue people while national police assessed the damage, their work made more difficult by downed power lines that disrupted telephone and power service, the agency said.
In Guayaquil, about 170 miles (270 km) southwest of the capital Quito, officials reported cracks in buildings and homes, and some walls collapsed. Authorities ordered the closure of three vehicular tunnels in Guayaquil, which anchors the metro area of more than 3 million people.
Videos shared on social media showed people gathering on the streets of Guayaquil and surrounding communities. People reported objects falling inside their homes.
A video posted online showed three anchors of a show. Dart from his studio desk As the seat shook. Initially they tried to shake it off as a minor earthquake but soon ran away from the camera. One anchor signaled for the show to go to a commercial break, while another repeated, “My God, my God.”
A report by Ecuador’s Adverse Events Monitoring Directorate dismissed the threat of a tsunami.
Tremors were also felt in Peru, from its northern border with Ecuador to the central Pacific coast. No casualties or injuries were immediately reported. In the northern region of Timbs, old walls of an army barracks collapsed, officials said.
Ecuador is particularly prone to earthquakes. In 2016, an earthquake was centered north of the country’s more sparsely populated area on the Pacific coast. More than 600 people were killed.
Associated Press writers Regina Garcia Cano in Caracas, Venezuela and Franklin Briceno in Lima, Peru contributed to this report.