from: GONZALO SOLANO, Associated Press
Published: March 18, 2023 / 11:40 AM PDT
Updated: March 18, 2023 / 11:43 AM PDT
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) – A powerful earthquake shook the region around Ecuador’s second-largest city on Saturday, killing at least one person, damaging homes and buildings and sending panicked residents into the streets.
The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in the country’s coastal Guayas region. It was located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Guayaquil, which is an anchor metro area of more than 3 million people.
The South American country’s emergency agency, the Secretariat for Risk Management, reported that one person had died in the Andean community of Cuenca. The victim was a passenger in a vehicle trapped under the rubble of a house.
In Guayaquil, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) southwest of the capital Quito, authorities reported cracks in buildings and houses, as well as some collapsed walls. Authorities ordered the closure of three tunnels to vehicles.
Videos shared on social media show people gathered on the streets of Guayaquil and nearby communities. People have reported objects falling into their homes.
A pier sank in the town of Machala. The earthquake was also felt in the north of Peru.