At least sixteen fatalities have been reported following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the southern region of Ecuador on Saturday.
The quake was located near the town of Baláo and had a depth of 65 km (about 41 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey. News of 381 injuries was reported by the General Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency of Ecuador.
In the province of El Oro, 11 deaths occurred, and one in the province of Azuay was caused by a wall falling onto a car. Three more in El Oro were due to a security camera tower collapsing. Those injured were taken to hospitals for treatment, but no further details were provided.
The USGS gave the tremor an “orange alert,” indicating a potential for “significant casualties” and possible “disaster” in the area. Some in the port city of Guayaquil felt very strong tremors.
Reports of structural damage to buildings in Cuenca, a major city listed in the UN’s world heritage sites, were confirmed by Ecuavisa, a news affiliate.
The National Weather Service did not issue a tsunami warning for the region. Airports in Guayaquil and Cuenca remain open and accessible.