At least 14 dead after 6.8 magnitude quake hits Ecuador and Peru – Reuters

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At least 14 people were killed and 381 injured in Ecuador in a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that destroyed buildings and crushed a car on Saturday afternoon, according to the Ecuadorian government. Tremors were felt as far north as Peru.

The earthquake occurred about five miles from the small coastal town of Balao, Ecuador, at a depth of nearly 41 miles, according to the US Geological Survey. He sent several buildings plunging into the sea at a seaport in the tourist town of Jambelí, their sloping roofs hovering just meters above the surface of the water, as members of the Ecuadorian armed forces responded to the scene.

At least seven houses have been destroyed and 50 others have been affected by the earthquake, according to the Ecuadorian government said SATURDAY. The facade of a building slammed into a vehicle in Cuenca, killing at least one person, and 17 educational buildings as well as 31 healthcare-related structures were also hit.

The dome of the Virgen De La Nube church in La Troncal was badly cracked, leaving holes in the walls of its clock tower, photos posted on social media showed.

In Peru, local media reported that a 4-year-old girl from the Tumbes region was killed after her house collapsed, citing a statement by Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otárola.

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Ecuador has a history of deadly earthquakes and intense seismic activity. The country of around 17.8 million people in 2016 experienced a massive 7.8 magnitude disaster in the northwest that killed hundreds. Earthquakes in northern Ecuador also killed at least 1,000 people in 1987, in what was one of its most devastating natural disasters.

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso said on Saturday that he had traveled to the hard-hit town of Machala, where he assessed the damage and met with victims in a hospital.

“I wanted to express my solidarity with the families of the dead and my solidarity with those injured in the earthquake,” he said.

Samantha Schmidt contributed to this report.

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