A powerful 7.8-magnitude Ecuador earthquake has killed at least 77 people and injured more than 500, Vice-President Jorge Glas says.
Saturday 18:58 local time (23:58 GMT) was the striking time of the earth quake in the northern part near coastal town of Muisne.
Immense and far reaching damages have been reported, among them is a bridge destroyed far south, 300 km (190 miles away) at Guayaquil.
There has been a declaration of a state of emergency in a total of six provinces and there has been mobilization of the National Guard.
This quake has been marked to be nation’s most violent since 1979; it shook buildings in the capital city Quito.
The president, Mr. Rafael Correa has cut short his trip to Italy and return home. He has however called the people to maintain calm via Twitter. “Our immeasurable love to the families of the departed.” He said.
The mayor of the town of Pedernale which is near the epicenter Mr. Gabriel Alcivar has said that they are trying to do all within their power but the situation is seemingly to be out of hand.
He said that looting activities were on the rise while many building had been crumbled down to wreckages.
“It was the entire town that collapsed, not just a house’, said Mr. Alcivar.
Colombia also felt the quake; there were patients in a clinic in Cali city who were exparieted from the building as a safety measure.
Ecuador is susceptible to earth quakes, it is located in a region referred to as the Ring of Fire that is shaped like a horseshoe, and it is the area of the Pacific Ocean that experiences seismic turbulence.