Earthquake 6.8 Magnitude Shakes Ecuador, At Least 13 Killed

Quito, Ekuador (Reuters) —

At least 13 people died in a strong earthquake that rocked coastal areas of Ecuador and northern Peru on Saturday (18/3) afternoon. The earthquake damaged houses, schools and medical centers.

“All ministries are on alert and have sufficient economic resources to quickly repair the damage caused by the earthquake,” Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso said in a statement.

According to data from the United States Geological Survey (US Geological Survey/USGS), an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 occurred at a depth of 66.4 km, about 10 kilometers from Balao City in Guayas Province.

Authorities said the quake had no potential to trigger a tsunami.

The presidential communications agency said the quake killed 12 people in El Oro province and two in Azuay province. More than 120 people were injured. The agency said at least seven houses were destroyed, and another 50 were damaged.

About 20 school buildings and 30 health centers were also affected. Many roads were impassable because they were blocked by landslides triggered by the earthquake. Santa Rosa Airport suffered minor damage, but continues to operate.

In Peru, authorities said the tremor was felt in the north of the country and there have been no reports of casualties or damage to buildings. [ft]

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