Twelve dead in Ecuador after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake

Twelve people died on Saturday in Ecuador after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake.

At least 12 people died on Saturday in a 6.5 magnitude earthquake in southern Ecuador, which also hit Peru, according to an official report.

“At the moment we have 12 dead”, including 11 in the province of El Oro and one in that of Azuay, indicated the presidency of Ecuador on Twitter. The earthquake also injured at least one person and caused material damage.

This earthquake, whose epicenter is located in southern Ecuador, also damaged several buildings. The magnitude 6.5 tremor was recorded at 12:12 p.m. local time (1712 GMT) in the Ecuadorian municipality of Balao, some 140 kilometers from the port of Guayaquil, and at a depth of 44 kilometers, Ecuadorian authorities said.

Several aftershocks felt

The American Seismological Institute (USGS) evaluated the magnitude at 6.8 on the Richter scale, the Peruvian seismological authorities announced it at 7.0. According to the Ecuadorian Secretariat for Risk Management, one person died in Cuenca (south) and three others in the surrounding area when a building collapsed.

In Peru, the director of the National Seismological Center, Hernando Tavera, told RPP radio that no casualties had been recorded and that “there is (was) no significant damage”.

Aftershocks were felt and the Ecuadorian Navy’s Oceanographic and Antarctic Institute assured that the tremor “does not meet the conditions necessary to generate a tsunami” in the Pacific.

Peru and Ecuador are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a major seismic zone that stretches along the western coast of the American continent.

Jeanne Bulant with AFP BFMTV journalist

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