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Ecuador Earthquake Victims

Dollar Photo Club / Nikolai Sorokin

Ecuador Earthquake Victims

A powerful earthquake that struck the central coast of Ecuador has killed at least 233 people. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake happened Saturday night, Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas stated in a televised address.

Emergency officials said more than 1,500 people were injured. A state of emergency is in effect in six provinces.

The tremor was centered 27 kilometers (16.8 miles) southeast of the coastal town of Muisne, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The earthquake is the deadliest to hit the nation since March 1987, when a 7.2 magnitude quake killed 1,000 people, according to the USGS.

Ecuador's soccer federation said it has suspended the remaining matches of the current Ecuadorean championship.
    
Mobile operators are allowing free text messages so that people can reach out to loved ones in Manabi and Esmeraldas provinces, the vice president said.

Ecuador has deployed 10,000 soldiers and 3,500 police officers to the affected areas.

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