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Ecuador earthquake: What we know so far

An overpass buckled in the city of Guayaquil, crushing a car. Credit: RTV

A huge earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador on Saturday. Here's what we know so far:

  • A 7.8 magnitude tremor struck off the Pacific coast, killing 77 people and injuring more than 570
  • A national emergency has been declared by President Rafael Correa and the national guard deployed
  • There has been widespread damage, particularly in western coastal areas, with many people feared trapped under collapsed buildings
  • The quake struck early evening at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles)
  • It was the strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador since 1979
  • There have been reports of looting amid the chaos

Tsunami warning after 7.8 magnitude quake in Ecuador

A strong earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, creating the possibility of dangerous waves along the coasts of Ecuador and Colombia.

The quake, graded at 7.8 magnitude by the US Geological Survey, was centred just off the coast of Ecuador 107 miles from the capital, Quito.

"Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300 km of the epicenter along the coasts of Ecuador and Colombia," the warning center said.

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Japan quake: More than 200,000 people told to evacuate

More than 200,000 people have been told to evacuate their homes in the wake of a powerful earthquake that hit Japan leaving as many as 40 people dead.

Japanese authorities have issued evacuation orders to around 240,000 people amid growing fears of landslides and overcrowding at emergency shelters set up to house those affected by the 7.3 magnitude tremor.

Rescue operations launched following Saturday morning's quake are continuing in a desperate bid to find survivors in the rubble caused by the tremor but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned a government meeting that as bad weather continues efforts may be hampered.

He said: "The wind is expected to pick up and rain will likely get heavier. Rescue operations at night will be extremely difficult ... It's a race against time."

'People fear a bigger earthquake could hit any time'

An earthquake in Japan has left people in the vicinity in a "state of shock".

Joseph Fowler, who lives in Kumamoto city near to where the 7.3-magnitude quake hit, says the area is better known for volcanic activity.

Mr Fowler's apartment, which he shares with his wife, was left in disarray, something he described as a "terrifying" experience.

He compared Saturday's earthquake in southern Japan to a "war zone", and said people were scared a bigger quake could hit at any time.

At least 25 people are feared dead so far and many hundreds injured.

Volcano erupts as Japan quake death toll rises to 15

A small eruption has occurred at Mt Aso in the region where two strong earthquakes happened in southern Japan Credit: PA

A small eruption occurred at a volcano in southern Japan following a magnitude 7.3 earthquake.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency has kept its alert level at 2 on a scale of 5 for Mt. Aso.

The quake, the second in as many days in the region, has killed at least 15 people and left hundreds injured.

The natural disaster has also hit economic activity in the southern island of Kyushu.

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