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Powerful 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Ecuador and Peru, Killing 16

On Saturday (March 18), a powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Ecuador and northern Peru, killing at least 16 people and injuring 381.[0] According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake had an orange alert, meaning “significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread.”[1] The tremor was more than 65 km (nearly 41 miles) deep and caused structural damage to buildings in Cuenca, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Relatives of a CNN producer in the western port city of Guayaquil reported feeling “very strong” tremors.[1] The airports of Guayaquil and Cuenca remained open and operational, according to the country's statement.[1]

This is not the first time Ecuador has experienced a catastrophic earthquake. In 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed over 600 people in the northwest, and in 1987, a quake in northern Ecuador killed at least 1,000 people.[2] The country of approximately 17.8 million people is particularly prone to earthquakes, making it especially important to stay informed and prepared for potential disasters.

0. “Earthquake hits Ecuador and Peru, causing widespread damage – video” The Guardian, 19 Mar. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2023/mar/19/earthquake-hits-ecuador-and-peru-causing-widespread-damage-video

1. “At least 13 dead after magnitude 6.8 earthquake shakes Ecuador” East Idaho News, 19 Mar. 2023, https://www.eastidahonews.com/2023/03/at-least-13-dead-after-magnitude-6-8-earthquake-shakes-ecuador/

2. “Pope close to quake-struck Ecuador” Vatican News, 19 Mar. 2023, https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2023-03/pope-appeal-ecuador-angelus-earthquake.html

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