A powerful, 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador’s central coast on Saturday, killing at least 28 people and spreading panic hundreds of miles away as it collapsed homes and buckled a major overpass. The U.S. Geological Survey said the shallow quake, the strongest in decades to hit Ecuador, was centered 16 miles south-southeast of Muisne, a sparsely populated area of fishing ports that’s popular with tourists.

Vice President Jorge Glas said in a televised address that there were initial reports of 28 dead in the cities of Manta, Portoviejo and Guayaquil — all several hundred kilometers (miles) from where the quake struck shortly after nightfall. The death toll is likely to rise as reports from the epicenter come in. Among those killed was the driver of a car crushed by an overpass that buckled in Guayaquil, the country’s most populous city. READ MORE