Earthquake in Ecuador and Peru kills not less than 14, causes widespread injury

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A robust earthquake shook southern Ecuador and northern Peru on Saturday, killing not less than 14 folks, trapping others beneath rubble, and sending rescue groups out into streets plagued by particles and fallen energy traces.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported an earthquake with a magnitude of about 6.8 that was centered simply off the Pacific Coast, about 50 miles south of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s second-largest metropolis. One of the victims died in Peru, whereas 13 others died in Ecuador, the place authorities additionally reported that not less than 126 folks had been injured.

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso informed reporters the earthquake had “without a doubt … generated alarm in the population.” Lasso’s workplace in a press release stated 11 of the victims died within the coastal state of El Oro and two within the highlands state of Azuay.

Damage from a 6.8-magnitude earthquake within the city of Balao in Ecuador’s Azuay province on March 18, 2023. 

Dario Ordonez/Anadolu Agency through Getty Images

In Peru, the earthquake was felt from its northern border with Ecuador to the central Pacific coast. Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otárola stated a 4-year-old woman died from head trauma she suffered within the collapse of her dwelling within the Tumbes area, on the border with Ecuador.


One of the victims in Azuay was a passenger in a automobile crushed by rubble from a home within the Andean group of Cuenca, in line with the Risk Management Secretariat, Ecuador’s emergency response company.

In El Oro, the company additionally reported that a number of folks had been trapped beneath rubble. In the group of Machala, a two-story dwelling collapsed earlier than folks may evacuate, a pier gave manner and a constructing’s partitions cracked, trapping an unknown variety of folks.

The company stated firefighters labored to rescue folks whereas the National Police assessed injury, their work made harder by downed traces that interrupted phone and electrical energy service.

Machala resident Fabricio Cruz stated he was in his third-floor condominium when he felt a powerful tremor and noticed his tv hit the bottom. He instantly headed out.

“I heard how my neighbors were shouting and there was a lot of noise,” stated Cruz, a 34-year-old photographer. He added that when he seemed round, he observed the collapsed roofs of close by homes.

Ecuador’s authorities additionally reported damages to well being care facilities and faculties. Lasso stated he would journey on Saturday to El Oro.

In Guayaquil, about 170 miles southwest of the capital, Quito, authorities reported cracks in buildings and houses, in addition to some collapsed partitions. Authorities ordered the closure of three vehicular tunnels in Guayaquil, which anchors a metro space of over 3 million folks.


Videos shared on social media present folks gathered on the streets of Guayaquil and close by communities. People reported objects falling inside their houses.

One video posted on-line confirmed three anchors of a present dart from their studio desk because the set shook. They initially tried to shake it off as a minor quake however quickly fled off digital camera. One anchor indicated the present would go on a industrial break, whereas one other repeated, “My God, my God.”

A report from Ecuador’s Adverse Events Monitoring Directorate dom inated out a tsunami risk.


Peruvian authorities stated the previous partitions of an Army barracks collapsed in Tumbes.

Ecuador is especially vulnerable to earthquakes. In 2016, a quake centered farther north on the Pacific Coast in a extra sparsely populated space of the nation killed greater than 600 folks.

In 2019, a really highly effective magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck southern Ecuador, near the nation’s border with Peru.

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