Stabroek News

Ecuador, Peru authoritie­s assess damage after earthquake that killed at least 15


(Reuters) - Ecuadorian and Peruvian authoritie­s worked on Sunday to assess the damage caused by the previous day’s strong earthquake that shook the region, leaving at least 15 dead and hundreds injured.

The 6.8 magnitude quake struck the Ecuadorian coastal province of Guayas at midday on Saturday, with residents reporting shaking in much of the country as well as in Peru’s northern border towns.

At midnight on Saturday, the Ecuadorian government reported 12 fatalities in the province of El Oro and two fatalities in the Azuay province, as well as more than 440 injuries.

“We will continue working all weekend,” President Guillermo Lasso tweeted in a video overnight. “All the ministries are active and have the financial resources to urgently attend to this emergency.”

The Risk Management Secretaria­t said it sent a team to Puna Island early on Sunday, near the epicenter of the earthquake, to

assess needs and deliver humanitari­an aid.

Additional­ly, the government reported that 84 homes were destroyed and another 180 affected. Dozens of health centers and educationa­l units also registered impacts.

State-run oil company Petroecuad­or reported that an offshore platform near the epicenter suffered damage that caused machinery to fail, temporaril­y reducing production.

Peruvian authoritie­s reported one death, four collapsed homes and five

more left uninhabita­ble, while essential services and transporta­tion infrastruc­ture were undamaged.

During his Sunday message, Pope Francis sent his condolence­s for the losses and “all those who suffer” due to the earthquake. Other government­s including Chile’s and Cuba’s also sent messages of solidarity.

Ecuador and Peru are part of the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an extensive area that surrounds the Pacific Ocean where clashes between the continenta­l plates are frequent.

 ?? ?? A damaged house is pictured following an earthquake in Isla Puna, Ecuador March 18, 2023. (Reuters photo)
A damaged house is pictured following an earthquake in Isla Puna, Ecuador March 18, 2023. (Reuters photo)

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