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6.8 magnitude earthquake in Peru, Ecuador kills 12 on Saturday

6.8 magnitude earthquake in Peru, Ecuador kills 12 on Saturday

AP photo.

Lima/Quito: A powerful earthquake shook Peru and Ecuador on Saturday, killing at least 12 people and injuring one. The quake, which happened at 12:12 local time, was recorded as 6.8 on Ritcher Scale, Agence France-Presse reported.

"So far, 12 deaths are reported (11 in the province of El Oro and one in the province of Azuay)," AFP quoted the Ecuador presidency's tweet.

In the Ecuadorian cities of Machala and CuenaThe quakes panicked residents, and they ran into streets while buildings were ruined and vehicles crushed. Rescue teams rushed to spots immediately, it was learnt.

The quake originated at a depth of 66 kilometres, and the epicentre was in the Balao municipality of Ecuador, which borders Peru, the United States Geological Survey informed.

An aftershock of magnitude 4.8 hit Balao, Ecuador, but the country's navy assured that there was no tsunami threat.

The newsagency was told by a local of Cuenca that when she saw people panicking and getting out of their cars, she ran out into the street.

Tremors were strongly felt in the cities of Guayaquil, Quito (the capital of Ecuador), Manabi and Manta, AFP reported citing social media reports. So far. Zero casualties and major damages were reported from Peru since it appeared to be less intense there.

On damage to buildings, Ecuador president President Guillermo Lasso told people via Twitter to remain calm and inform through official channels.

Meanwhile, journalists informed that old houses in the historic region were also damaged.

Director of the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute, Mario Ruiz, said in an interview that the earthquakes were of relatively high magnitude for what they have in their country.

Seismological authorities in Peru first said that the magnitude was 7.0 but hours later amended it to 6.7. The head of the National Seismological Centre of Peru is confident there that there was no significant damage to the structure or people there.

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