Earthquake in Ecuador kills at least 1 person and causes significant damage

A strong earthquake in Ecuador has killed at least one person and damaged houses and buildings


QUITO, Ecuador — A strong earthquake shook the region around Ecuador’s second-largest city on Saturday, killing at least one person, damaging houses and buildings, and sending panicked residents into the streets.

The United States Geological Survey reported a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in the country’s coastal Guayas region. The center was about 80 kilometers south of Guayaquil, which anchors a metro area of ​​more than 3 million people.

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

In Guayaquil, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) southwest of the capital Quito, authorities reported cracks in buildings and houses and some collapsed walls. The authorities ordered the closure of three vehicle tunnels.

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

A pier has sunk in the town of Machala. The earthquake could also be felt in northern Peru.