Ecuador, Quito: Ecuador’s vice president, Jorge Glas, has said, atleast 77 people were killed and 588 wounded by the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Pacific coastline late yesterday evening. “At this moment, the number of confirmed deaths reaches 77,” Vice president said earlier this morning, in his latest earthquake update. He said more than 588 people are injured.
The earthquake was felt across Ecuador as well as in northern Peru and southern Colombia. Officials have declared a state of emergency in Ecuador’s six worst-hit provinces. “Oh, my God, it was the biggest and strongest earthquake I have felt in my whole life. It lasted a long time, and I was feeling dizzy,” said Maria Torres, 60, in the capital Quito, where people fled their homes during Saturday evening’s quake. Police, the military and emergency services “are in a state of maximum alert to protect the lives of citizens.”
In the Pacific port city of Guayaquil, home to more than two million people, a bridge had collapsed, crushing a car beneath it, and residents were picking through the wreckage of houses left in heaps of rubble and timber, an AFP photographer reported. Ecuador’s Geophysical Office reported “considerable” structural damage “in the area near the epicenter as well as points as far away as Guayaquil.”