Earthquake in Ecuador kills at least 12 people and causes extensive damage to homes and buildings | world news

At least 12 people have died after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the region around Ecuador’s second largest city, Guayaquil.

The quake was centered about 80 km south of Guayaquil, according to the US Geological Survey, and it was felt as far north as Peru.

Residents inside the city – which lies about 170 miles (270 km) southwest of EcuadorThe capital of Quito – reported that objects had fallen inside their homes during the tremor.

Footage shared on social media shows panicked residents rushing into the streets.

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso tweeted a message urging residents to stay calm before announcing that the disaster had claimed 12 lives.

Cuenca. Photo: AP

Ecuador’s emergency response agency, the Secretariat for Risk Management, said one person died in the Andean community of Cuenca.

The victim was said to be a passenger in a vehicle stuck under a collapsed house.

Three people have died and several others have been trapped in the rubble in the coastal state of El Oro, it has been learned.

Police stand near fallen debris from a building in a commercial area after an earthquake rocked Machala, Ecuador
Machala. Photo: AP

In the community of Machala, a number of people were trapped in a two-storey house after it collapsed.

A jetty also sank at Machala.

Police talk to people next to the site where a car was crushed by debris after an earthquake shook Cuenca, Ecuador
Cuenca. Photo: AP

Rescue work was made more difficult due to downed power lines which affected telephone and electricity.

A clip posted online showed three TV presenters emerging from their studio desks as things around them began to shake.

One presenter suggested the show would go through a commercial break, while another repeated, “My God, my God.”

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Police stand around a damaged building after the earthquake hit Cuenca
Cuenca. Photo: AP

A report from the Adverse Events Monitoring Directorate ruled out a tsunami threat in the South American country.

Ecuador is earthquake-prone: in 2016, more than 600 people were killed in an earthquake centered on a less populated part of the country further north on the Pacific coast.

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