Earthquake between Peru and Ecuador, at least 4 dead

An earthquake whose epicenter was south of Ecuador shook Peru on Saturday, killing at least four people and damaging several buildings, according to initial assessments by officials in both countries.

Ecuadorean officials said a magnitude 6.5 earthquake was recorded at 12:12 p.m. local time (1712 GMT) in the Ecuadorian municipality of Balao, about 140 kilometers from the port of Guayaquil and at a depth of 44 kilometers.

The US Seismological Institute (USGS) rated the magnitude at 6.8 on the Richter scale, the Peruvian seismological authorities announced it at 7.0.

According to Ecuador’s Secretariat for Risk Management, one person died in the collapse of a building in Cuenca (south) and three others in the surrounding area.

In Peru, Hernando Tavera, director of the National Seismological Center, told RPP radio that there were no casualties and “no significant damage”.

Aftershocks were felt and the Oceanographic and Antarctic Institute of the Ecuadorian Navy assured that the earthquake “does not meet the conditions necessary to generate a tsunami” in the Pacific.

Peru and Ecuador are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a major seismic zone that extends along the west coast of the American continent.

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