A magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook a coastal region of Ecuador and northern Peru midday Saturday, leaving at least four people dead and resulting in some structural damage.
The earthquake had its epicenter 29 kilometers from the city of Balao in the province of Guayas, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
The earthquake did not appear likely to generate a tsunami, authorities said. However, it caused some damage to buildings and infrastructure in the affected areas.
The Secretariat of Risk Management in Ecuador reported that one person died in the city of Cuenca after a facade collapsed onto a vehicle, while three others died in the town of Machala.
The quake also led to structural damage in two other provinces, including a collapsed wall in a supermarket. Multiple communities lost power, and a two-story home and a wharf collapsed.
The state-run oil company Petroecuador had evacuated and suspended activities in multiple facilities out of precaution but had not reported damage.
JUST IN: Building falls into water during powerful earthquake in Ecuador.— Upward News (@UpwardNewsHQ) March 18, 2023
The initial quake was followed by two weaker aftershocks in the following hour, according to the Geophysics Institute of Ecuador.
🇪🇨 | AHORA: Machala, Ecuador: pic.twitter.com/5pW9gIzAed— Alerta News 24 (@AlertaNews24) March 18, 2023