At least four people were killed in the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador and northern Peru, and many buildings were damaged.

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, with his post on Twitter asked the citizens to remain calm and “to be informed from official sources”.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 (6.7 according to the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center) and came from a focal depth of 66.4 kilometers.

Its epicenter was located at a distance of about 10 kilometers from the city of Balao, in the province of Gaya.

The Disaster Management Secretariat said in a statement that a wall collapsed and crushed a vehicle, killing one person in the city of Cuenca.

In the community of Matsala, three people were killed and several buildings collapsed, while several villages were left without electricity.

Damage was also reported in other provinces, including a supermarket where a wall collapsed.

According to the Secretariat, state-owned oil company Petroecuador suspended operations and evacuated many of its facilities as a precaution.

“We all ran out into the street … we were very scared,” said Ernesto Alvarado, a resident of Isla Punia, an island near the epicenter where some houses collapsed.

The initial earthquake was followed by two smaller aftershocks.

In Peru, the earthquake was felt in the northern provinces but there are currently no reports of damage or casualties.