A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck on Ecuador's coast Saturday, leaving at least 41 people dead and causing buildings to shake in cities more than 100 miles away and collapsing an overpass, authorities and witnesses said.
The temblor struck just before 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET) with an epicenter 16 miles south-southeast of the coastal town of Muisne, located on the country's northwestern coast, the U.S. National Geological Survey said. The quake was recorded at a depth of about 12 miles.
The earthquake was initially called a magnitude-7.4 quake, but the USGS later upgraded it to a 7.8.
Three other earthquakes were recorded in the area in the two hours after the larger quake hit, ranging from 5.4 to 4.8 in magnitude, the USGS said.
A smaller 4.5 magnitude quake was recorded along the coast south of Muisne about a half-hour before the magnitude-7.8 quake struck, the agency said.
"Our infinite love to the families of the dead," Correa on Twitter, while cutting short a trip to Italy to return home.
The country's Geophysics Institute in a bulletin described "considerable damage" in the area of the epicenter and in Guayaquil. Glas said 10,000 military troops and 3,500 police have been dispatched to the affected areas.
"I was in my house watching a movie and everything started to shake. I ran out into the street and now I don't know what's going to happen," Lorena Cazares, 36, a telecommunications worker in Quito, told Reuters.
One person was killed when an overpass collapsed and crushed a car in the country's largest city, in the country's largest city, Guayaquil, located 200 miles to to the south of Muisne. Another occupant of the car survived and was taken to a hospital, authorities said.
Video posted online showed damage to a shopping mall in Portoviejo and people crowded in the street outside as alarms rang. A hotel in Manta partially collapsed and was left barely standing, and buildings were shaken to the ground in Guayaquil.
There is no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
NOAA's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves up to 3 feet above tide level were possible for some coastal areas of Ecuador, but later said the threat had largely passed. Ecuador's president said those on the coasts should seek higher ground as a precaution.
The quake was strongly felt in country's capital of Quito, around 100 miles away.
PAUL BEGLEY Just got the news... "Are you serious?"Tsunami alert is canceled after his video, and more are found dead.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Ann Warren, Key West Global Rumblings correspondent
Loretta Tatman, Florida Keys Global Rumblings correspondent
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