Buildings were damaged in a powerful earthquake that shook the central coast of Ecuador on Saturday.CreditAriel Ochoa/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
QUITO, Ecuador — A 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the central coast of Ecuador on Saturday, killing at least 41 people, officials and news reports said. The effects could be felt as far away as the capital, Quito, which lies some 105 miles from the epicenter.
Authorities said they expected the death toll to rise.
The quake was centered 16 miles southeast of Muisne, Ecuador, the United States Geological Survey said.
Officials declared a nationwide state of exception, which gives the government expanded authority, and a state of emergency in six of the country’s 24 provinces. Deaths were reported in the northern provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabí and Guayas, along the northern border with Colombia.
Among the dead was a minor who fell down the stairs in a mall in Guayaquil, and another who died after the collapse of a bridge in the city, according to reports from the television station Teleamazonas.
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