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A powerful earthquake in Ecuador is reported to have killed at least four people. The 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck shortly after midday local time and caused a number of buildings to collapses. Tremors from the earthquake were felt as far away as Peru and caused panic and mayhem among local residents.
The earthquake struck the country’s coastal Guayas region.
Its centre about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Guayaquil, which anchors a metro area of over three million people.
Three people, including a baby, were reported to have died when a house collapsed in Machala, in the south-west of the country.
A pier in the city, housing a museum and a restaurant, is also said to have collapsed into the sea during the earthquake.
A further person was killed in Cuenca, when debris from a house crushed the car the person was travelling in.
In Guayaquil, about 170 miles southwest of the capital, Quito, authorities reported cracks on buildings and homes, as well as some collapsed walls.
Officials also ordered the closure of three road tunnels in the city.
Videos soon appeared online showing the aftermath of the powerful tremors.
In one clip, stunned residents can be seen surveying the damage around them, which included collapsed buildings.
Another video posted to social media shows people running to help passengers in a car crushed by falling debris.
Panicking shoppers in a supermarket were also captured in one video running to the exits, as the earthquake struck.
Ecuador is located in an area of intense seismic activity and there is a high risk of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.
The last major earthquake (7.8 magnitude) was on 16 April 2016, and caused extensive damage and hundreds of fatalities.
The coastal provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas were the worst affected, though the earthquake was also felt strongly in the capital, Quito.
Four dead as earthquake hits Ecuador with tremors felt in Peru
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