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At Least 77 Killed in Ecuador Earthquake

The death toll from the powerful earthquake in Ecuador has risen to 77.  Hundreds are injured.

Vice President Jorge Glas said the toll is likely to rise as reports from around the country continue to come in.

Rescue crews are struggling to get to the sparsely populated fishing ports and tourists beaches where the earthquake struck Saturday night.

"It's very important that Ecuadorians remain calm during this emergency," Glas said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the shallow 7.8-magnitude quake struck late Saturday along the South American country's coast.

It was felt 170 kilometers away in Quito, the capital, where it knocked out electricity and cell phone coverage in several neighborhoods.

In Quito, buildings swayed for about 40 seconds, causing people to rush into the streets.

A bridge collapsed in the port city of Guayaquil.

In Manta, the airport was closed after the control tower was damaged.

Glas said the national guard has been mobilized to maintain public order.

A tsunami warning has been issued, but there were no immediate reports of waves.

President Rafael Correa was not in Ecuador at the time of the quake. He was in Rome after attending a Vatican conference Friday.

Correa said the earliest he could return to Ecuador is Sunday afternoon.


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