A powerful earthquake south of Guayaquil has left at least 14 people dead, including one in Cuenca and one in nearby Molleturo, and more than 100 more injured. The quake measured 6.7 magnitude on the Richter Scale, occurring at a depth of 44 kilometers.
Several aftershocks, including one of 4.8 magnitude and another of 4.6, were also registered.
Early reports were of widespread damage near the epicenter with some structural damage to buildings as far away as Ambato. In Cuenca, a collapsing building facade on Calle Sucre near Tarqui took the life of a motorist and seriously injured two others, according to police.
The dead man was identified as John González, president of the San Francisco Plaza merchants association.
Several other buildings in the city’s historic district also suffered damage, most of it minor, according to police. Rockslides temporarily closed the highway through the Cajas Mountains as well as the Cuenca-Giron-Machala highway.
In Guayaquil and Machala, officials report more than 50 people injured and dozens of structures destroyed or damaged.
According to the Geophysical Institute, the quake was felt in most of the country, with damage reported in 12 provinces.