Strong earthquake strikes Ecuador, 4 dead

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Strong earthquake strikes Ecuador, 4 dead

A strong earthquake shook the region around Ecuador's second-largest city on Saturday, killing at least four people, damaging homes and buildings, and sending panicked residents into the streets.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 in the country's coastal Guayas region. It is located about 50 miles south of Guayaquil, which has a metro area of over 3 million people.

Solange Coyago was sitting in her apartment about to go to lunch when the windows started shaking and the lights started to move really fast.

She told NBC Nightly News that she was really scared. Everyone out there was in the streets and it was a tough moment. After the earthquake stopped, Coyago said she had a panic attack.

Everything in my mind was blind. She said I started shaking.

The South American country's Emergency Response Agency, the Risk Management Secretariat, reported a person died in the Andean community of Cuenca. The victim was a passenger in a vehicle trapped under the rubble of a house. Three other people were killed in the coastal state of El Oro, the agency reported.

The authorities in Guayaquil, about 170 miles southwest of the capital, reported cracks on buildings and homes, as well as some collapsed walls. The closure of three vehicular tunnels was ordered by the authorities.

Videos shared on social media show people gathering on the streets of Guayaquil and nearby communities. People reported objects falling inside their homes.

Coyago said her apartment did not have a lot of damage, but some buildings nearby have collapsed partially.

She said that police officers are saying don't walk around here because in every moment this is going to come down. Some of the streets are closed right now. One video posted online showed three anchors of a show dart from their studio desk as the set shook. They tried to shake it off as a minor quake, but soon fled off camera. One anchor indicated the show would go on a commercial break, while another repeated My God, my God. A pier sank in the city of Machala. The earthquake was also felt in northern Peru.