Powerful earthquake hits Ecuador, over 200 people killed
A powerful, 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador's central coast on Saturday, killing at least 41 people and spreading panic hundreds of kilometers (miles) away as it collapsed homes and buckled a major overpass.
On social media residents 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 collapsed, injuring an air force official. Hydroelectric dams and oil pipelines in the OPEC-member nation were shut down as a precautionary measure.
President Rafael Correa, who is in Rome after attending a Vatican conference Friday, called on Ecuadoreans to stay strong while authorities monitor events.
The death toll has soared to 272, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Sunday evening. That number is expected to rise as rescue teams dig through the rubble, he said.