earthquake hits Ecuador


An earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Ecuador on Saturday, damaging roads, flattening buildings and killing at least four people.

The quake hit the coastal region of Guyas around noon, the US Geological Survey reported. The epicenter was about 80 km south of Guayaquil, the country’s second largest city.

Authorities reported one death in the city of Cuenca, which is inland east of the epicenter. The victim was driving a vehicle that became trapped under the rubble of a collapsing house. Three more people died when a building collapsed on Jambeli Island, immediately south of the epicenter.

Elsewhere, destruction of homes, commercial buildings, electrical and energy infrastructure and roads was reported by the Ecuadorian risk management secretariat.

Video footage from affected areas showed some of the damage, with clips from Cuenca appearing to capture the immediate aftermath of the fatal accident there.

Ecuador lies at the intersection of the Nazca and South American plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes. The most powerful in recent years was in 2016, which registered a magnitude of 7.8 and hit the northwestern coast of the country, near the town of Muisne. It killed at least 675 people and injured more than 16,000 while causing about $3 billion in damage.

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