June 1, 2023

South Sudan News Agency

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The Ecuadorean and Peruvian authorities estimate the damage after the earthquake, which killed at least 15 people

(Reuters) – Ecuadorian and Peruvian authorities worked on Sunday to deal with the damage caused by a powerful earthquake that shook the region the day before, leaving at least 15 dead and hundreds injured.

The 6.8-magnitude quake hit the Ecuadorian coastal province of Guayas on Saturday noon, with residents reporting shaking in most parts of the country as well as in Peru’s northern border towns.

“Our goal is to take immediate measures to get us back to normal,” President Guillermo Lasso said in a video on Sunday night. “You have my full support to repair all the damages as quickly as possible, for which the Ministry of Finance has already allocated the necessary resources.”

Laso reported 14 deaths, as well as more than 460 people injured. He said 89 homes were destroyed and 192 others damaged. He pointed out that dozens of health centers and educational units also recorded traces.

He said the government has created a housing rental voucher and will get homes where families who have lost their homes can stay.

The Risk Management Secretariat said it had sent a team to Buna island early Sunday, near the epicenter, to assess needs and provide humanitarian aid.

The state oil company, Petroecuador, reported that an electrical fault affected six oil fields, which reduced production of about 17,400 barrels of oil.

Petroecador said an offshore platform near the epicenter also suffered damage, causing machinery to fail, temporarily lowering production. The company calculated a production loss of more than 20.5 million cubic feet per day.

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Peruvian authorities reported one death, four homes collapsed and five others uninhabitable, while basic services and transportation infrastructure were not damaged.

During his Sunday message, Pope Francis sent his condolences for the losses and “all those who suffer” from the quake. Other governments, including those of Chile and Cuba, have sent messages of solidarity.

Ecuador and Peru are part of the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a vast area surrounding the Pacific Ocean where clashes between continental plates frequently occur.

Additional reporting by Alexandra Valencia in Ecuador, Fabian Campero in Santiago and Jackie Potts in Mexico City; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Jerry Doyle

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