At least 16 dead after magnitude 6.8 quake in Ecuador | CNN



At least 16 people died after a size A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit southern Ecuador on Saturday afternoon, according to government officials.

The earthquake struck the southern city of Baláo and was more than 40 miles (65 km) deep. according to the United States Geological Survey.

An estimated 381 people were injured in the quake, Ecuador’s Presidency General Secretariat of Communications tweeted on their official account.

At least 11 people have been killed in El Oro province. At least one other death has been reported in the province of Azuay, according to the Communications Department of the President of Ecuador. In an earlier statement, authorities said the person in Azuay was killed when a wall collapsed on top of a car and at least three of the victims in El Oro died when a security camera tower came down.

People who were injured were treated in hospitals, the presidency added, but gave no further details.

The USGS issued an “orange warning” to the quake, saying “significant casualties are likely and disaster may be widespread.”

“Previous events at this alert level required a regional or national level response,” the USGS added. It also estimated damage and economic losses were possible.

Relatives of a CNN producer in the western port city of Guayaquil said they felt “very strong” tremors.

View of a flood at the Puerto Bolivar dock after the earthquake.

CNN affiliate Ecuavisa reported structural damage to buildings in Cuenca, one of the country’s largest cities. The historic city is on the UN list of World Heritage Sites.

There is no tsunami warning for the area, according to the US National Weather Service.

Guayaquil and Cuenca airports remained open and operational, the country’s statement said.

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