By Maija Ehlinger and Abel Alvarado, CNN
At least four people died after a magnitude A 6.8 earthquake struck southern Ecuador on Saturday afternoon, the country’s government said in a statement.
The quake struck near the southern city of Baláo and was more than 65 km (almost 41 miles) deep. according to the United States Geological Survey.
One person died in the city of Cuenca, in the province of Azuay, when a wall collapsed on his car, and three other people died on the Jambelí island, in the province of El Oro, when a tower of security cameras collapsed, they said. The authorities.
The USGS gave the tremor a “Orange alert”, saying that “it is likely that there will be significant casualties and that the disaster is potentially widespread.”
“Past events with this alert level have required a response at the regional or national level,” the USGS added. He also estimated possible damages and economic losses.
Relatives of a CNN producer in youThe western port city of guayaquil they said they felt “very strong” tremors.
CNN affiliate ecuavisa reported structural damage to buildings in Cuenca, one of the largest cities in the country. The historic city is on the UN list of world heritage sites.
There is no tsunami alert in effect for the area, according to the US National Weather Service
The Guayaquil and Cuenca airports remained open and operational, according to the country’s statement.
The CNN Wire
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CNN’s Christina Maxouris and Marlon Sorto contributed to this report.