Two powerful quakes measuring 5.9 and 6.4 struck the coast of Ecuador just ten minutes apart on Monday afternoon.
The United States Geological Service reported that both quakes hit an area about 32 kilometers northwest of Rosa Zarate, a town with 60,000 residents in the coastal city of Esmeraldas
Prelim M6.4 earthquake near the coast of Ecuador Jul-11 02:11 UTC, updates https://t.co/wnQvtYCFwZ
— USGS Big Quakes (@USGSBigQuakes) July 11, 2016
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The tremors from the two quakes were felt across a wide area and prompted many people to flee into the streets, according to BNO news. Residents reported power outages in some parts of the province. No reports as to the number of casualties were immediately available.
Moradores de edificios del centro norte de #Quito salen a la calle tras sentir 2 #sismos consecutivos @lahoraecuador pic.twitter.com/ZHvbjStk9L
— Juan Camilo Escobar (@EscobarEC) July 11, 2016
No tsunami warning has been issued.
Local authorities in Esmeraldas said they were suspending school activities until further notice. Classes were also suspended in Manabí province to “inspect possible damage”.
The country’s president Rafael Correa urged people to “remain calm”.
Ecuador sits on the Nazca seismic plate region and has experienced a few powerful earthquakes this year already.
On April 16, a 7.8 magnitude quake rattled the country causing the deaths of at least 661 people. Over 27,000 others were injured across a number of provinces that were devastated by wide-spread destruction. A state of emergency was declared as over 13,000 military personnel and police officers participated in recovery operations.