At least 13 deaths reported after 6.8 quake shakes Ecuador
At least 13 people were killed in a strong earthquake that shook a coastal region of Ecuador and northern Peru at midday Saturday, causing structural damage to multiple homes, schools, and medical centres.
Footage from El Oro province, one of the worst-hit areas, showed bodies of fatal victims laying on the ground after rescuers pulled them from the rubble of a collapsed building.
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso said in a statement all the ministries have been activated to respond to the emergency and added there was no risk of a tsunami in the Latin American country.
The quake, which the US Geological Survey (USGS) measured at magnitude 6.8, struck at a depth of 66.4 km (41.3 miles) about 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from the city of Balao in the province of Guayas.
The presidency's communication agency said that the quake left 11 people dead in the province of El Oro and two fatalities in Azuay province. More than 120 people were injured.
The agency said at least seven homes were destroyed, while 50 more were damaged. Around 20 educational buildings and more than 30 health centres were also affected and multiple roadways were blocked by landslides caused by the earthquake. The Santa Rosa airport suffered minor damage but remained in operation.
The initial quake was followed by two weaker aftershocks in the following hour, according to the Geophysics Institute of Ecuador.
Peruvian authorities said that the quake was felt in the country's northern region and that there were no immediate reports of harm to people or structures.