At least 13 people died in a severe earthquake in southern Ecuador. Eleven of the dead from collapsing apartments or buildings came from the province of El Oro on the Pacific coast, two from Azuay in the Andean highlands, as reported by the Ecuadorian newspaper "El Comercio". Another 126 people were injured, according to the Ecuadorian government. Dozens of buildings, including health centers, were damaged and some destroyed.
According to the Geological Institute (IG) of the South American country, several earthquakes occurred, the strongest at 6.8 around 35 kilometers off the coast of the canton of Balao in the province of Guayas. The earth also trembled in the north of neighboring Peru. Calling for calm, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso announced he was heading to the hard-hit provinces of El Oro and Azuay. A person died in the historic center of the city of Cuenca when the wall of a house fell on his car. Several buildings collapsed in Machala, burying people.
The entire west coast of the American double continent lies on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, which is known for its high level of seismic activity. A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Ecuadorian coast in April 2016, killing more than 570 people and injuring thousands.