Earthquake kills 14 in Ecuador and 1 in Peru – MercoPress
Earthquake kills 14 in Ecuador and 1 in Peru Monday 20 March 2023 – 08:53 UTC “We will declare a state of exception,” Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso said
At least 15 people have died after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolted northern Peru and southern Ecuador at 12.11pm on Saturday, it was reported. The epicenter was said to be located in Ecuadorian territory, 85 kilometers northeast of Zarumila, in the Tumbes region, and a depth of 78 kilometers, according to the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP).
On the other hand, the US Geological Survey (USGS), which monitors seismic activity worldwide, reported a 6.7-magnitude earthquake 6 kilometers from the Ecuadorian city of Palau, Guayas province. State oil company Petroecuador stated that an offshore platform near the epicenter sustained damage that caused machinery to fail, temporarily lowering production.
Twelve victims fell in the Ecuadorean coastal town of El Oro and two more in the province of Azuay, while a four-year-old girl died in the Peruvian city of Tumbes. Local media reported that more than 80 homes were completely destroyed and 180 seriously damaged. Other reports indicated that 446 people were injured, of whom 252 were eventually discharged from hospital. A total of 84 homes, private property and 5 bridges were completely destroyed, while hundreds of other buildings were damaged. So far, 80 educational units, 33 health centers, 32 private properties, and 22 public properties have been affected.
Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso visited the El Oro medical facility and also flew to Azuay later in the day. I have toured all the affected areas of the 6.5 magnitude earthquake. We will be with the entire Cabinet, immediately, this emergency, “he posted on social networks. “We will declare a state of exception, without restrictions on rights, nationwide, in order to facilitate and accelerate public procurement of affected buildings,” the Ecuadorian Head of State said on Sunday.
After the first quake, an aftershock with a magnitude of 4.8 was recorded at a depth of 24 kilometers, according to Ecuador’s Institute of Geophysics. “It is a relatively high magnitude for what we have in the country. In the Guayaquil Bay area, we are seeing more or less from 2017 onwards about two earthquakes of magnitude greater than 5.0 per year,” Mario Ruiz, director of the Ecuadorean Geophysical Institute, said in a radio interview.
During his Sunday message, Pope Francis sent his condolences to the deceased and “all those who suffer” after the powerful earthquake. Other governments, such as Chile and Cuba, have also sent messages of solidarity.
Ecuadorian and Peruvian authorities on Sunday worked to assess the damage from the previous day’s powerful earthquake that shook the region, leaving at least 15 dead and hundreds injured.
During his Sunday message, Pope Francis sent his condolences for the losses and “all those who suffer” from the quake. Other governments, including those of Chile and Cuba, have also sent messages of solidarity.
Ecuador and Peru are part of the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a vast area surrounding the Pacific Ocean where clashes between continental plates frequently occur.
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