At least 15 people died in a severe earthquake in southern Ecuador. At least eleven of the dead from collapsing apartments or buildings came from the province of El Oro on the Pacific coast, two from Azuay in the Andean highlands, as reported by the Ecuadorian newspaper “El Comercio”. Another 381 people were injured, according to the Ecuadorian government. More than 100 buildings, including health centers, were damaged and some destroyed.

According to the Geological Institute (IG) of the South American country, several earthquakes occurred, the strongest at 6.8 around 35 kilometers off the coast of the canton of Balao in the province of Guayas. It was felt in several provinces. The earth also trembled in the north of neighboring Peru. One person died in the Tumbes region, according to the Peruvian news agency “Agencia Andina” it is a four-year-old girl who fell on her head from a wall.

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso called for calm and traveled to the hard-hit provinces of El Oro and Azuay, where he visited a hospital and met with officials, among other things. A person died in the historic center of the city of Cuenca when the wall of a house fell on his car. Several buildings collapsed in Machala, burying people.

The entire west coast of the American double continent lies on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, which is known for its high level of seismic activity. A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Ecuadorian coast in April 2016, killing more than 570 people and injuring thousands.