Earthquake rocks Ecuador and Peru killing at least 15
Guayas, Ecuador - A 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador and neighboring Peru on Saturday and killed at least 15 people, authorities said.
The US Geological Survey said the quake struck Ecuador's coastal Guayas region on Pacific Coast, with the epicentre about 50 miles south of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s second-largest city. The quake was about 40 miles deep, USGS said.
In Ecuador, fourteen people were killed, while almost 400 had been injured, the Ecuadorian Secretariat for Risk Management reported.
The majority of people were killed in the province of El Oro while fatalities had also been recorded in Azuay, in the Andean highlands, the Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio reported.
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso called for calm and travelled to the most affected provinces of El Oro and Azuay, where he visited a hospital, among other things.
In Peru, Prime Minister Alberto Otárola said a young girl died after her home collapsed in the Tumbes region, on the border with Ecuador.
The countries lie on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area marked by seismic upheaval with some 128 active volcanoes.
On Sunday, Pop Francis tweeted, "I am near to the Ecuadorian people and I assure you of my prayer for the deceased and for all who are suffering."
Firefighters and rescue workers are still working through the rubble as the National Police sift through the damage.
Cover photo: REUTERS