A powerful earthquake rocked the region around Ecuador’s second-largest city on Saturday, killing at least four people, damaging homes and buildings and sending residents onto the streets in panic.

The United States Geological Survey reported a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in the coastal region of Guayas in the country. It was centered about 50 miles south of Guayaquil, which anchors a metropolitan area of ​​more than 3 million people.

Solange Coyago was in her apartment about to go to lunch when the windows began to shake and the lights began to move very quickly.

«I was really scared,» she told «NBC Nightly News.» «Everyone outside was in the streets… [it] It was a really tough time.»

After the quake stopped, Coyago said she had a panic attack.

«Everything in my mind was blind. I started shaking,» he said.

President Guillermo Lasso tweeted a message asking residents to remain calm.

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The South American country’s emergency response agency, the Risk Management Secretariat, reported that one person died in the Andean community of Cuenca. The victim was a passenger in a vehicle trapped under the rubble of a house. Three other people died in the coastal state of El Oro, the agency reported.

In Guayaquil, about 170 miles southwest of the capital Quito, authorities reported cracks in buildings and homes, as well as some collapsed walls. The authorities ordered the closure of three vehicular tunnels.

Videos shared on social media show people gathering on the streets of Guayaquil and nearby communities. People reported objects falling inside their houses.

Coyago said his apartment did not suffer much damage, but some nearby buildings partially collapsed.

“The police are saying please don’t walk around here because at any moment this is going to collapse,” he said. «Right now, the streets are closed, some of them.»

A video posted online showed three hosts of a show. dart from his study desk while the set shook. They initially tried to shake it off as a minor earthquake, but soon fled the chamber. One host indicated that the show would have a commercial break, while another repeated, “My God, my God.”

A pier in the city of Machala sank. The quake was also felt in northern Peru.

Associated Press contributed.

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