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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

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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.

22 people die in Ecuadorian army plane crash

22 people have died in an Ecuadorian army plane crash Credit: Google Maps

An Ecuadorian army plane has crashed, killing all 22 people on board, according to the country's president.

Rafael Correa said on Twitter there were no survivors of the crash in the east of the country.

He called the incident "a tragedy."

Ecuador: UK and Sweden must allow Assange to go free

The Ecuadorian government has demanded WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be allowed to go free from its London embassy after a UN panel ruled in his favour.

Foreign minister Ricardo Patino said the ruling, which stated Mr Assange has been arbitrarily detained by the UK and Sweden, left both countries with no option but to accept the panel's report, which is not legally binding.

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino, seen with Julian Assange after the Australian first entered the Ecuadorian embassy in June 2012. Credit: Reuters

"What more do they want to be accused of before they start to rectify their error?" he told South American broadcaster Telesur.

Mr Patino said Ecuador was analysing its next steps over Mr Assange, who has hailed the ruling as a "significant victory".

Both the UK and Sweden deny Mr Assange has been deprived of his freedom while Swedish prosecutors said the UN panel's decision had no formal impact on its rape investigation against the Australian whistleblower under Swedish law.

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