Magnitude-7.8 earthquake hits Ecuador; at least 28 dead

Story highlights

  • The vice president says 28 people are dead and calls for evacuations
  • The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancels the warning for other countries

(CNN)At least 28 people have died in a magnitude-7.8 earthquake that was centered near the coast of Ecuador, the country's vice president, Jorge Glas, told the nation Saturday night in a televised address.

Glas said a state of emergency was now in effect and added that preventive evacuations in coastal areas were underway because of possible tsunami risks.
    In Guayaquil, Ecuador's most populous city, emergency personnel recovered one body from the scene of a bridge collapse, a police officer told reporters with Ecuadorian TV stations.
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    Elsewhere in the city of 2 million people, shoppers were shaken by the quake. Video from a store showed kitchen utensils and pans hanging from an end cap swinging slightly back and forth and some items falling off shelves.
    The lights in the store go out and alarms go off.
    The shaking appears to last less than a minute.
    A resident of the city told his brother, a CNN employee, that there is damage to some buildings and many areas have lost power.
    According to the United States Geological Survey, the tremor was centered about 27 kilometers (16.8 miles) south-southeast of Muisne.
    There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in the capital of Quito, located 173 kilometers (108 miles) from the epicenter of the earthquake.
    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a threat forecast for some parts of Ecuador, saying waves could could reach 1 meter (3 feet) above tide level. An earlier warning for other nations with coastlines on the Pacific was canceled.