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A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador's central coast Saturday, killing at least 28 people and spreading panic as far away as the capital of Quito as it collapsed homes and rattled buildings.
The quake, the strongest in decades to hit Ecuador, was reported at 4:58 p.m. Pacific time, 17 miles from Muisne, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered in a sparsely populated area of fishing ports popular with tourists. The depth was recorded at 12.4 miles.
Vice President Jorge Glas said in a televised address that there were initial reports of 28 dead in the cities of Manta, Portoviejo and Guayaquil. Among those killed was the driver of a car crushed by an overpass that buckled in Guayaquil, the country's most populous city.
On social media, people shared photos of homes collapsed, the roof of a shopping center coming apart and supermarket shelves shaking violently. In Manta, the airport was closed after the control tower sustained severe damage. Guayaquil's international airport was also closed because of a lack of communications.
President Rafael Correa, who was in the Vatican after attending a papal conference, called on Ecuadoreans to show strength while he and authorities monitored events.
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-eart ... story.html