Earthquake of 7.8 magnitude rocks Equador

Earthquake of 7.8 magnitude rocks Equador

Ecuador's strongest earthquake in decades, a 7.8 magnitude tremor, struck off the Pacific coast on Saturday, killing at least 41 people and causing damage near the epicenter as well as in the largest city of Guayaquil.

Earthquake of 7.8 magnitude rocks Equador

Shocking photos from #Equador after 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Twitter

President Rafael Correa declared a national emergency and urged the Andean nation's 16 million people to stay calm.

The quake struck at 18:58 local time on Saturday (23:58 GMT) near the northern coastal town of Muisne.

Severe damage is reported in many areas, with a bridge destroyed as far south as Guayaquil about 300km (190 miles) away.

A state of emergency has been declared in six provinces and the National Guard has been mobilised.

The quake, the country's largest in decades, also shook buildings in the capital, Quito.

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