© Reuters. A broken automotive and rubble from a home affected by the earthquake are pictured in Cuenca, Ecuador. March 18, 2023. REUTERS/Rafa Idrovo Espinoza


QUITO (Reuters) -A magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook a coastal area of Ecuador and northern Peru noon Saturday, leaving no less than 4 folks lifeless and leading to some structural injury.

“I name for calm and for folks to get knowledgeable by means of official channels,” mentioned Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso in a tweet.

The quake, which the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measured at magnitude 6.8, struck at a depth of 66.4 km (41.3 miles) about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the town of Balao within the province of Guayas.

The earthquake didn’t seem more likely to generate a tsunami, authorities mentioned.

Ecuador’s Secretariat of Danger Administration mentioned in an announcement {that a} wall had collapsed onto a automobile, killing one particular person, within the metropolis of Cuenca. In the neighborhood of Machala, three folks had been killed and a number of constructions collapsed, together with a two-story residence and a wharf, whereas a number of communities misplaced energy.

The earthquake additionally led to structural injury in two different provinces, together with a collapsed wall in a grocery store, and was felt in additional than half of the nation’s 24 provinces, the Secretariat mentioned.

The company mentioned that state-run oil firm Petroecuador had evacuated and suspended actions in a number of services out of precaution, however had not reported injury.

“All of us ran out into the streets… we had been very scared,” mentioned Ernesto Alvarado, a resident of Isla Puna, an island close to the epicenter, including that some properties had collapsed.

The preliminary quake was adopted by two weaker aftershocks within the following hour, in keeping with the Geophysics Institute of Ecuador.

Peruvian authorities mentioned that the quake was felt within the nation’s northern area, and that there have been no instant stories of hurt to folks or constructions.

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