A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Ecuador has killed at least 77 people and injured more than 500, Vice-President Jorge Glas says.
The quake which hit at 18:58 on Saturday (23:58 GMT) near the northern town of Muisne caused widespread severe damage with a bridge destroyed about 300km (190 miles) away in Guayaquil.
Meawhile, President Rafael Correa, who is flying back from a trip to Italy, has declared a state of emergency.
BBC qouted the President as saying; “This is a very painful test. I ask the country to be calm and united… Let’s be strong; we will overcome this.”
He added: “Roads and hospitals can be rebuilt; you cannot recover lost lives. That’s what hurts the most.”
Mr Glas said that at least 77 people had died and 588 had been injured, adding that the figures could rise as a number of affected areas had not yet been reached.