A strong earthquake shook the region around Ecuador’s second-largest city on Saturday, killing at least twelve people, damaging homes and buildings, and sending panicked residents into the streets.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 in the country’s coastal Guayas region. It was centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Guayaquil, which anchors a metro area of over 3 million people.
The South American country’s emergency response agency, the Risk Management Secretariat, reported one person died in the Andean community of Cuenca. The victim was a passenger in a vehicle trapped under the rubble of a house.
In Guayaquil, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Quito, authorities reported cracks on buildings and homes, as well as some collapsed walls. Authorities ordered the closure of three vehicular tunnels.
Videos shared on social media show people gathered on the streets of Guayaquil and nearby communities. People reported objects falling inside their homes.
A pier sank in the city of Machala. The earthquake was also felt in northern Peru.
In 2019, a very powerful magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck southern Ecuador, close to the country’s border with Peru.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.