Destroyed buildings, crushed cars in Peru and Ecuador as a result of a powerful earthquake.

At least 12 people were killed, one injured and buildings damaged as a result of a powerful earthquake that hit Peru and Ecuador on Saturday, Ecuador’s presidency said.

Destroyed buildings, crushed cars and debris could be seen in the Ecuadorian cities of Machala and Cuenca as rescuers rushed to help and residents ran into the streets in panic.

The earthquake, which the United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimated at a magnitude of 6.8 and a depth of about 41 miles (66 kilometers), struck at 12:12 p.m. local time (1712 GMT).

The epicenter of the earthquake was in the Balao municipality of Ecuador, near the border with Peru, authorities said.

“I went out into the street because I saw people starting to panic, getting out of their cars,” Magali Escandon, a sewing supplies seller in Cuenca, told AFP.

“So far, 12 deaths have been reported (11 in El Oro state and one in Azuay state),” Ecuador’s presidency tweeted.

Tremors were also felt in other cities, including Guayaquil, Quito, ManabĂ­ and Manta, according to social media reports.

No casualties or major damage were reported in Peru, where the quake appeared to have been less severe.

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, in his message on Twitter called on people to “calm down and be informed through official channels” about the damage to the buildings.

According to the Quito Risk Management Office, the facade of a house collapsed on a car and left a “dead man” in Cuenca. AFP journalists of the city also reported that the old houses in the historical center were damaged.

In nearby El Oro state, three people were killed when a tower collapsed and crushed them to death.

“It is a relatively high magnitude for what we have in the country,” said Mario Ruiz, director of the Geophysical Institute of Ecuador, in an interview with the FM Mundo radio station.

Peru’s seismological authorities initially reported a magnitude of 7.0, but downgraded it to 6.7 hours later.

Hernando Tavera, head of Peru’s National Seismological Center, assured RPP radio that “there is no significant damage to the structure or people” in the country.

The first aftershock with a magnitude of 4.8 was recorded in Balao, Ecuador. Ecuador’s navy said there was no threat of a tsunami.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

Source link