by Gonzalo Solano
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) – A strong earthquake rattled the area around Ecuador’s second largest city on Saturday, killing at least one person, damaging homes and buildings and sending terrified people into the streets.
The US Geological Survey has reported an earthquake with a magnitude of about 6.7 in the Coastal Guayas region of the country. It was centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Guayaquil, which anchors a metro area of more than 3 million people.
The South American country’s emergency response agency, the Risk Management Secretariat, said one person died in the Andean community of Cuenca. The victim was a passenger in a vehicle trapped under the rubble of a house.
In Guayaquil, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) southwest of the capital Quito, officials reported cracks in buildings and homes, as well as some collapsed walls. Authorities ordered the closure of three vehicular tunnels.
Videos shared on social media showed people gathering in the streets of Guayaquil and surrounding communities. People reported falling objects inside their homes.
A ferry sank in Machala town. Tremors were also felt in northern Peru.