NPR
The Two-Way

Powerful Earthquake Hits Ecuador's Coast, Killing At Least 28

474551786_1719983342.jpg

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 7.8 magnitude quake was centered 16 miles (27 kilometers) south-southeast of Muisne, a sparsely-populated coastal town.
The U.S. Geological Survey
The U.S. Geological Survey says the 7.8 magnitude quake was centered 16 miles (27 kilometers) south-southeast of Muisne, a sparsely-populated coastal town.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador's central coast Saturday. At least 28 people were killed according to The Associated Press, citing Vice President Jorge Glas.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake at 4:58 p.m. local time, centered 16 miles (27 kilometers) southeast of Muisne, a sparsely-populated coastal town.

While quakes of this scale (greater than 7.7 magnitude) have consistently hit the region since 1900 according to USGS, Saturday's earthquake is the strongest to strike Ecuador in decades.

"We have 16 people dead in the city of Portoviejo, 10 in Manta and two in the province of Guayas," Glas said at a news conference, reports BBC News. Mr. Glas is stepping in for President Rafael Correa, who's away in Rome after attending a Vatican conference.

The quake rattled buildings and caused homes to collapse as far away as Ecuador's capital of Quito, 105 miles (170 km) from the quake's epicenter. Quito residents rushed to the streets in fear, according The Associated Press.

Support comes from

"I'm in a state of panic," Quito resident Zoila Villena told The Associated Press. "My building moved a lot and things fell to the floor. Lots of neighbors were screaming and kids crying."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cautioned the possibility of hazardous waves along the coasts of Ecuador and Colombia.

The quake follows two deadly earthquakes in southwest Japan on Thursday and Saturday, that killed at least 29 people.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.