At least 14 dead in earthquake in Ecuador

According to the USGS, the magnitude 6.

At least 14 dead in earthquake in Ecuador

According to the USGS, the magnitude 6.8 quake occurred at 12:12 p.m. (local time, 6:12 p.m. CET) at a depth of about 66 kilometers. As the authorities in Ecuador announced, the epicenter was under the town of Balao, around 140 kilometers south of the port city of Guayaquil.

The tremors were also felt in other cities such as Quito, Manabí and Manta, as reported by users in online networks. The Ecuadorian presidency said several people were injured, but did not give any figures.

Several buildings were damaged in the city of Cuenca. One person died there when a collapsed wall crashed into his car. Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso called on the population on Twitter to keep calm and get information through the official channels.

Saleswoman Magaly Escandon from Balao told AFP news agency that she ran onto the street when she saw "people in panic running, getting out of their cars".

The earthquake also shook northern Peru. In the border town of Tumbes, a four-year-old girl was killed when a falling brick hit her in the head.

There is no evidence of major property damage in the country, said the head of the Geophysical Institute of Peru, Hernando Tavera.

Ecuador and Peru lie on what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, which stretches along the west coast of the American continent. There, several tectonic plates collide and often trigger earthquakes.

Several aftershocks with a magnitude of up to 4.8 were recorded following the severe tremor. Ecuador's Navy said there was no threat of a tsunami.