At least 14 fatalities after M6.8 earthquake hits Ecuador, over 330 homes destroyed or damaged

At least 14 fatalities after M6.8 earthquake hits Ecuador, over 200 homes destroyed or damaged

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake shook several provinces in central-southwestern Ecuador and Tumbes Province in north-western Peru on March 18, 2023, causing casualties and damage. The quake resulted in at least 14 fatalities, 462 injuries, and over 330 homes destroyed or damaged in Ecuador and Peru. Unofficial reports mention at least 15 fatalities.

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake (6.5 according to Ecuadorean authorities) hit several provinces in central-southwestern Ecuador, including Guayas, Azuay, Cañar, and El Oro, at 17:12 UTC on March 18. The tremor also affected Tumbes Province in northwestern Peru, causing casualties and damage.

According to the Risk Management Secretariat of Ecuador (SGR), the number of fatalities in Ecuador has risen to 13, with 11 in El Oro Province and two in Azuay Province. Additionally, 461 people have been injured, 89 houses have been destroyed, and 192 have been damaged across the affected provinces.

The National Institute of Civil Defense of Peru (INDECI) reported that one person has died, another has been injured, and 140 have been affected. More than 50 houses have been damaged or destroyed across Tumbes Province.

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National authorities are conducting damage assessments and providing aid to those affected by the earthquake. The President of Ecuador, María Alejandra Vicuña, has declared a state of emergency in the affected provinces to facilitate the mobilization of resources and aid for those impacted.

Despite the ongoing efforts, moderate rain is expected in western Ecuador, including the affected provinces, and north-western Peru over the next 24 hours. The rainfall could complicate rescue and relief operations, posing additional challenges to the already affected areas.


1 Ecuador, Peru – Earthquake update – DG ECHO – March 20, 2023

Featured image credit: DW (stillshot)


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