March 22, 2023

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Ecuador earthquake killed at least 16 people

(CNN) 16 at least People died After fate A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck southern Ecuador on Saturday afternoon, according to government officials.

The earthquake occurred near the southern town of Palau and had a depth of more than 65 km (nearly 41 miles), According to the United States Geological Survey.

The General Secretariat for Communications of the Presidency of Ecuador said on its official Twitter account that an estimated 381 people were injured in the quake.

In El Oro province, at least 11 people have died. At least one other death has been reported in the province of Azuay, according to the Communications Department of Ecuador’s president. In an earlier statement, authorities said the person in Azuay was killed when a wall collapsed into a car and that at least three of the victims in El Oro died when a surveillance camera tower fell.

Residents look at a building that collapsed after the Machala earthquake struck, Ecuador, on March 18, 2023.

The presidency added that the injured were being treated in hospitals, but gave no other details.

The USGS gave the shake orange alert, “Large loss of life is likely and the disaster is widespread,” he said.

The USGS added that “past events with this alert level have required a regional or national response.” It also estimated possible damages and economic losses.

Relatives of a CNN producer in the western port city Guayaquil They said they felt “very strong” tremors.

View of flooding at the Puerto Bolivar dock after the earthquake.

CNN affiliate Aquavisa It reported structural damage to buildings in Cuenca, one of the country’s largest cities. The historic city is included in the United Nations list of World Heritage Sites.

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There is no tsunami warning in effect in the area, according to what it reported US National Weather Service.

The state statement stated that the airports of Guayaquil and Cuenca remain open and operational.

CNN’s Christina Maksouris contributed to this report.