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Magnitude7.8 quake strikes Ecuador, tsunami warning issued

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QUITO — A powerful magnitude 7.8 quake has shaken Ecuador, the US Geological Survey reported, with the tremor felt firmly in the capital Quito.

A state of emergency has been declared across the Andean nation.

Ecuador Vice President Jorge Glas said 28 people are dead according to preliminary information and the quake caused “considerable damage”.

“We have 16 people dead in the city of Portoviejo, 10 in Manta and two in the province of Guayas,” in the west of the country, Mr Glas told a news conference.

Police, the military and emergency services “are in a state of maximum alert to protect the lives of citizens”, he said.

A tsunami warning has also been issued for local coasts, with the Andean nation’s government recommending residents leave coastal areas.

“Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 kilometres of the earthquake epicentre,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

It said tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 metre above tide level were possible for some coastal areas of Ecuador.

Panicked residents flooded into the streets fearing aftershocks.

Social media pictures showed a collapsed bridge in Guayaquil and a collapsed tower at an airport in the city of Manta.

“I was in my house watching a movie and everything started to shake. I ran out into the street and now I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Lorena Cazares, 36, a telecommunications worker in Quito, said.

Buildings swayed in Quito, hundreds of kilometres away from the quake’s epicentre, but authorities did not immediately report injuries or damage.

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In fact, two earthquakes jolted the same area just 11 minutes apart, the USGS said. The first measured 4.8 and the second 7.8.

The quake also rattled northern Peru, authorities there said.

Reuters/AFP

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President nominates NA members

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KATHMANDU — President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has nominated three persons to the post of National Assembly Members on the recommendation of the government on Tuesday.

President Bhandari has nominated former Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC) Yubaraj Khatiwada (Jhapa), CPN Maoist Centre lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari (Makawanpur) and former NPC member Bimala Poudel Rai (Morang) to the posts as per Section B of the Article 86 (2) of the Constitution of Nepal, according to the Office of the President.

Earlier today, a meeting of Council of Ministers had recommended their names to the president after withdrawing the recommendations made by the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government.

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Meanwhile, the Nepali Congress (NC) has expressed its serious reservation over the government recommendation on National Assembly (NA) members.

NC Spokesperson Bishow Prakash Sharma said that NC has protested the governmen decision on new recommendation to the NA that was made by calling back the recommendation made by Deuba-led government.

The Deuba-led government had recommended the names of Chandani Joshi, Gopal Basnet and Krishna Prasad Poudel as the NA members.

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