LatinNews Daily - 20 March 2023

In brief: Earthquake hits Ecuador and Peru

* At least 15 people have been killed and over 460 injured by an earthquake that struck Ecuador and Peru on 18 March, with the greatest damage reported to be in the Ecuadorean cities of Machala (El Oro province) and Cuenca (Azuay). The earthquake was felt across much of Ecuador, where President Guillermo Lasso’s government announced yesterday that 192 homes had been damaged, as well as 40 healthcare buildings and 112 schools. Lasso yesterday said that he would declare a nationwide state of emergency in order to expedite the awarding of contracts to carry out repairs, and said that the government would purchase houses to rehome those whose property had been destroyed. State oil company Petroecuador said that its oil production had been “drastically” affected by an electricity failure caused by the earthquake, with production falling by around 17,400 barrels on 18 March.

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