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    Deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastates Ecuador

    By By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
    May 18, 2016, 12:51:57 AM EDT

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    7.8-magnitude earthquake causes destruction in Guayaquil


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    A powerful and deadly earthquake shook the coast of Ecuador on Saturday evening, killing more than 600 people and injuring over 10,000 others.

    The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near the coast and was a shallow quake with the epicenter occurring just 11.9 miles (19.2 km) below the earth's surface, according to the USGS.


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    The depth and proximity to the ocean caused concern of a tsunami for a time, with waves of 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 1 meter) occurring along the coast of Ecuador.

    The tsunami threat had subsided early Sunday morning local time.

    According to The Associated Press, residents who were forced to evacuate coastal towns due to the tsunami threat have now been allowed to return home.

    Dozens of aftershocks have rattled the area since the initial earthquake, many of which ranging from a magnitude 4.5 and magnitude 5.5.

    Emergency workers are having a difficult time getting to the hardest-hit areas as landslides have closed numerous main roads.

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    Weather could exacerbate this problem, as showers and thunderstorms threaten central and eastern Ecuador through Monday.

    The western portion of the country is forecast to be drier, though a brief shower or thunderstorm is not out of the question.

    The Ecuadorean government announced that nearly 650 people have been killed and about 12,500 are injured.

    There have been numerous reports of structural damage around Ecuador as a result of the major earthquake.

    There has only been one earthquake larger than this tremor in the past year and that was an 8.3-magnitude earthquake that occurred just off the coast of Chile in September 2015.


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    This is reportedly a collapsed bridge in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

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