Earthquake kills at least 14 in Ecuador and Peru and causes widespread damage to homes and buildings | World News

At least 13 people have died in Ecuador – while a four-year-old girl has died in Peru – after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the region.

The quake was centred just off Ecuador‘s Pacific Coast, around 50 miles (80km) south of the city of Guayaquil, according to the US Geological Survey.

It was also felt as far away as northern Peru, where the country’s Prime Minister, Alberto Otárola, said a four-year-old girl had died after the roof of her home collapsed in the Tumbes region – on the border with Ecuador.

Authorities say 13 people died in Ecuador, while 126 others are reported to have been injured.

Residents inside the city of Guayaquil – which is Ecuador’s second largest city and sits around 170 miles (270km) southwest of the capital Quito – reported that objects had fallen inside their homes during the tremor.

Footage shared on social media showed panicked residents rushing onto the streets.

Ecuador’s president Guillermo Lasso tweeted a message urging residents to stay calm, before telling reporters that the earthquake had “without a doubt … generated alarm in the population”.

A police officer looks up next to a car crushed by debris after an earthquake shook Cuenca, Ecuador
Cuenca. Pic: AP

The country’s emergency response agency, the Risk Management Secretariat, said two people had died in the highlands state of Azuay.

One of the victims was said to be a passenger in a vehicle trapped under a collapsed house.

Cristian Torres, from the agency, also said in a radio victim that 11 of the victims died in the coastal state of El Oro.

Police stand by debris fallen from a building at a commercial area after an earthquake shook Machala, Ecuador
Machala. Pic: AP

A further fatality in the region was later confirmed by the president’s office, which also reported that at least seven homes were destroyed and 50 more were damaged.

Around 20 educational buildings and more than 30 health centres are also believed to have been affected by the quake.

Mr Lasso said on Saturday that he would travel to the El Oro region.

In the community of Machala, a number of people were trapped in a two-storey house after it collapsed, while a pier also sank.

Police talks to people next to the site where a car was crushed by debris after an earthquake shook Cuenca, Ecuador
Cuenca. Pic: AP

Rescue work was made more difficult due to downed power lines that affected phone and electricity.

A clip posted online showed three TV presenters darting from their studio desks as things around them started to shake.

One presenter suggested the show would go to an ad break, while another repeated: “My God, my God.”

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Police stand around a building damaged after an earthquake struck Cuenca
Cuenca. Pic: AP

A report from the Adverse Events Monitoring Directorate ruled out a tsunami threat for the South American country.

Ecuador is prone to earthquakes: In 2016 more than 600 people were killed in a quake centred in a more sparsely-populated part of the country further north on the Pacific Coast.

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