At least 77 people are killed and hundreds injured after powerful 7.8 earthquake strikes off the central coast of Ecuador, with tremors felt 300 miles away in Colombia

Sunday, April 17, 2016
By Paul Martin

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 16 miles south-southeast of Muisne on the country’s coast
At least 77 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the worst earthquake to hit the country since 1979
It sent residents fleeing for their lives and was felt as far away as Colombia, where it shook Cali and Popayan

17 April, 2016

A powerful, 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador’s central coast yesterday, killing at least 77 people and spreading panic hundreds of miles away as it collapsed homes and buckled a major overpass.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the shallow quake, the strongest since 1979 to hit Ecuador, was centered 16 miles south-southeast of Muisne, a sparsely populated area of fishing ports that’s popular with tourists.

Some 77 people were killed in surrounding cities including Manta, Portoviejo and Guayaquil – all several hundred miles from where the quake struck shortly after nightfall.

Vice President Jorge Glas said the death toll will likely rise further in what he called the ‘worst seismic movement we have faced in decades’.

‘At this moment, the number of confirmed deaths has reached 77, Glas said early today, adding more than 588 people were injured.

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