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At least 14 killed as 6.8-magnitude earthquake hits Ecuador and Peru
At least seven homes were destroyed and 50 others were affected in the quake, the Ecuadoran government said on Saturday. The facade of one building rained down on a vehicle in Cuenca, killing at least one person, and 17 educational buildings as well as 31 health-care-related structures were also affected.
The dome of the Virgen De La Nube Church in La Troncal was severely cracked, leaving holes in the walls of its clock tower, photos posted on social media showed.
In Peru, local media reported that a 4-year-old girl in the region of Tumbes was killed after her home collapsed, citing a statement from Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otárola.
Ecuador has a history of fatal earthquakes and intense seismic activity. The country of approximately 17.8 million people in 2016 experienced a massive 7.8-magnitude disaster in the northwest that killed hundreds. Earthquakes in northern Ecuador also killed at least 1,000 people in 1987, in what was one of its most devastating natural disasters.
Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso said on Saturday that he had visited the hard-hit city of Machala, where he assessed the damage and met with victims in a hospital.
“I’ve wanted to express solidarity with the families of the dead and solidarity with those injured in the earthquake,” he said.
Samantha Schmidt contributed to this report.