At least 14 killed in powerful earthquake in Ecuador

At least 14 killed in powerful earthquake in Ecuador

CUENCA: At least 14 people were killed, several were wounded and buildings damaged in a powerful earthquake that shook Peru and Ecuador on Saturday, authorities said.

As rescue officials rushed to lend aid and panicked residents ran into the streets, destroyed buildings, crushed vehicles and debris could be seen in cities such as Machala and Cuenca in Ecuador.

The quake, which the United States Geological Survey USGS put at a magnitude of 6.8 and a depth of nearly 66 km, struck at 12.12 pm local time.

Its epicentre was in the Ecuadoran municipality of Balao, near the border with Peru, authorities said.

Magaly Escandon, a saleswoman for sewing supplies in Cuenca, said he went out into the street because people started to panic and get out of their cars.

The presidency of Ecuador reported 13 dead 11 in the province of El Oro and two in the province of Azuay.