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Ecuador News

More than 100 buildings damaged, some severely, near the epicenter of Thursday earthquake

Ecuador’s minister of risk management says that at least 123 homes sustained significant damage in Chimborazo and Bolivar provinces during Thursday night’s 6.2 magnitude earthquake. “Fortunately, there were no serious injuries near the epicenter but at least 400 people have been temporarily displaced,” said Alexandra Ocles.

A building facade in Guaranda was dislodged by Thursday’s earthquake.

The quake struck at 9:12 Thursday and was felt in more than half the country, including in Quito, Cuenca an Guayaquil, Ocles said.

“We have reports of damage in provinces outside of Chimborazo and Bolivar but so far these appear to be minor. We will continue our assessment in all of the affected areas.”

The communities hardest-hit are Pallatanga , Cumandá , Alausí and Chunchi, the risk management office says, although Guaranda and Chillanes damage reports have yet to be checked out. Among damage to be investigated are to buildings in the Guaranda historic district, which includes buildings dating to the late 1600s.

“Some structures will have to be demolished but we don’t yet know how many. At this point we are advising families in these locations to stay out of their homes until our office can conduct evaluations.”

The majority of early damage reports are of cracked masonry and broken glass, he says.