At least 12 people died after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the area around Guayaquil, the second largest city in Ecuador, and a child died in Peru.

The epicenter was about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Guayaquil, according to the US Geological Survey, and it was felt as far away as northern Peru.

The population is within the city – which is located about 170 miles (270 km) southwest EcuadorQuito – It was reported that objects fell inside their homes during the earthquake.

Footage circulating on social media showed panicked residents rushing into the streets.

Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso tweeted a message urging residents to remain calm before announcing that 12 people had died in the disaster.

A police officer looks on next to a car crushed by debris after an earthquake rocked Cuenca, Ecuador
Cuenca. Pic: AP

One person died in the Andean region of Cuenca, Ecuador’s emergency response agency, the Secretariat for Risk Management, said.

The victim was said to be a passenger in a car trapped under a collapsed house.

It was reported that three people were killed and several others were trapped under rubble in the coastal state of El Oro.

Police stand next to debris that fell from a building in a commercial district after an earthquake shook Machala, Ecuador
Machala. Pic: AP

In the town of Machala, a number of people were trapped in a two-storey house after it collapsed.

A wharf at Machala also sank.

Police speak to people next to the site where a car was wrecked from the wreckage after an earthquake rocked Cuenca, Ecuador
Cuenca. Pic: AP

Rescue work was made more difficult by power lines outages that affected telephone and electricity.

A video posted online showed three TV presenters rushing from their studio offices as things around them started shaking.

One presenter suggested that the show move to an ad break, while another repeated: “Oh my God, my God.”

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Police stand around a building damaged after the Cuenca earthquake
Cuenca. Pic: AP

A report from the Adverse Event Monitoring Department ruled out a tsunami risk in the South American country.

Ecuador is prone to earthquakes: In 2016, more than 600 people were killed in an earthquake that had its epicenter in a less densely populated part of the country to the north on the Pacific coast.

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