The 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador and northern Peru killed at least four people and damaged many buildings.
In a post on Twitter, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso called on citizens to remain calm and “check with 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 about 10 kilometers from the city of Balao in Gaya Province.
Earthquake in Ecuador: walls collapsed, villages without electricity
The Civil Protection Secretariat said in a statement that a wall collapsed, crushing a vehicle, killing one person in the city of Cuenca. In the municipality of Matsala, three people were killed and several buildings collapsed, while several villages remained without electricity.
Damage was also reported from other provinces, including a supermarket where a wall collapsed.
According to the Secretariat, the state-owned oil company Petroecuador shut down operations as a precaution and evacuated many of its facilities.
“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 first 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.