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Magnitude 6.8 earthquake hits Ecuador; at least 13 people died

An earthquake measuring 6.8 struck near the town of Baláo, in southern Ecuador, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said on Saturday afternoon (18).

The USGS had initially reported the quake as having a magnitude of 6.7, but that number was revised following closer analysis of the quake.

At least 13 people died after the earthquake, Ecuador’s presidency said in a message on Twitter.

Previously, the Presidency reported that 11 people lost their lives in the province of El Oro and 1 more in Azuay. In addition, he indicated that “there are injured people who are being treated promptly in hospitals”, but did not provide further details.

Guayaquil and Cuenca airports remain open and operational, according to officials.

The quake was located at a depth of 65.7 km, the USGS said, naming the quake a “yellow alert” status with the potential “for earthquake-related deaths and economic loss.”

Earlier, the USGS warned that “some casualties and damage are possible” but said that “the impact should be relatively localized”.

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, made a “request for calm and information through official channels” on his Twitter account.

Relatives of a producer CNN in Guayaquil they said they felt the tremor “very strong”.

The affiliate of CNN , Ecuavisa, reported structural damage to buildings in Cuenca, the country’s third-largest city. The historic city is on the UN World Heritage List.

There is no tsunami warning in effect for the area, according to the US National Weather Service.

Source: CNN Brasil

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