Officials from the government say that at least 16 people died when an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 hit southern Ecuador on Saturday afternoon.
The quake hit near the town of Baláo in the south and was more than 65 km (nearly 41 miles) deep, according to the US Geological Survey.
The General Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency of Ecuador tweeted on their official account that the quake hurt about 381 people.
At least 11 people died in the province of El Oro. The communications office for the president of Ecuador said that there was at least one more death in the province of Azuay.
In an earlier statement, the government said that the person who died in Azuay was killed when a wall fell on a car, and that at least three of the people who died in El Oro were killed when a security camera tower fell.
The Presidency also said that people who were hurt were getting care at hospitals, but it didn’t say anything else. The tremor got a “orange alert” from the USGS, which meant that “significant casualties are likely and the disaster could be widespread.”
The USGS added –
“Past events with this alert level have required a regional or national level response.”
It also said that there could be damage and economic losses. CNN affiliate Ecuavisa said that buildings in Cuenca, one of the country’s largest cities, had been damaged. The city is on the list of world heritage sites made by the UN.
The US National Weather Service says that there is no tsunami warning for the area. The country’s statement said that the airports in Guayaquil and Cuenca were still open and running.