INTERNATIONAL: Ecuador earthquake of 7.8 magnitude kills dozens

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INTERNATIONAL: Ecuador earthquake of 7.8 magnitude kills dozens
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Residents walk on a street amid destroyed buildings following an earthquake, April 16, 2016 in Guayaquil. (AFP Photo)

BBC – A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Ecuador has killed at least 77 people and injured more than 500, Vice-President Jorge Glas says.

The quake, Ecuador’s largest since 1979, hit at 18:58 on Saturday (23:58 GMT) near the northern town of Muisne.

Widespread severe damage is reported, with a bridge destroyed as far south as Guayaquil about 300km (190 miles) away.

President Rafael Correa, who is flying back from a trip to Italy, has decreed a state of emergency.

He said: “This is a very painful test. I ask the country to be calm and united… Let’s be strong; we will overcome this.”

He added: “Roads and hospitals can be rebuilt; you cannot recover lost lives. That’s what hurts the most.”

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