By The Watchers
A very strong earthquake registered by the USGS and IGEPN as M6.8 hit Ecuador at 17:12 UTC on March 18, 2023. IGEPN is reporting a depth of 37 km (23 miles); USGS 65.8 km (40.1 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.8 at a depth of 75 km (46.6 miles).
According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 6.9 km (4.3 miles) NNE of Baláo (population 12 205), 28.3 km (17.6 miles) SW of Naranjal (population 32 045), 48.8 km (30.3 miles) NNE of Machala (population 198 123), 52.8 km (32.8 miles) N of Pasaje (population 44 860), and 68.9 km (42.8 miles) NNE of Santa Rosa (population 41 816).
The USGS issued an Orange alert for shaking-related fatalities. Significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. Past events with this alert level have required a regional or national level response.
A Yellow alert was issued for economic losses. Some damage is possible. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Ecuador.
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