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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.

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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Govt to present its policies and programmes Monday

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KATHMANDU — The government is preparing to present its policies and programs for the fiscal year 2018/19 at the Federal Parliament on Monday.

According to Joint Spokesperson at the Federal Parliament Secretariat Keshav Aryal, all preparations are over for the release of the government policies and programs to be made by the President Bidya Devi Bhandari from New Baneshwor-based Federal Parliament Building at 4:00 pm Monday.

President Bhandari would unveil the government policies and programs for the first time in the joint meeting of the Federal Parliament after the promulgation of the new constitution.

As per the constitution, the President can address any of the House meeting or the joint meeting of the Federal Parliaments and summon the lawmakers for their presence.

Vice President, top leaders of different political parties, high-ranking government officials, chiefs of the constitutional bodies, chiefs of the security bodies and chiefs of the diplomatic missions in Nepal are invited for the program.

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