At least 16 people died after a greatness A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit southern Ecuador on Saturday afternoon, government officials said.
The earthquake struck near the southern town of Baláo and was more than 65 km (nearly 41 miles) deep, according to United States Geological Survey.
About 381 people were injured in the quake, the General Secretariat of Communication of the Ecuadorian Presidency tweeted on its official account.
In El Oro province, at least 11 people died. At least one other death has been reported in Azuay province, according to the Ecuadorian president’s communications service. In an earlier statement, authorities said the person in Azuay was killed when a wall collapsed on a car and at least three of the victims in El Oro died when a security camera tower went down. fallen.
Those injured were being treated in hospitals, the presidency added, but did not provide further details.
The USGS gave the quake a “amber alert” saying “significant losses are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread”.
“Past events at this alert level have required a response at the regional or national level,” the USGS added. He also felt that damage and economic loss were possible.
Relatives of a CNN producer in the western port city of Guayaquil said they felt “very strong” tremors.
Affiliated with CNN Ecuavisa reported structural damage to buildings in Cuenca, one of the country’s largest cities. The historic city is in the United Nations list of World Heritage Sites.
There is no tsunami warning in effect for the region, according to the United States National Weather Service.
Guayaquil and Cuenca airports remained open and operational, according to the country’s statement.