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Damage is minor from Sunday earthquake

Risk management officials report no major damage from a Sunday morning earthquake north of Quito although two landslides closed roads near Guayllabamba, the epicenter. “We have reports of cracking in some structures in north Quito, Tumbaco and Guayllabamba,” said a risk management official. “Fortunately, there were no deaths or injuries.”

The “moderately strong” quake occurred just before 4 a.m. and registered 4.5 of the Richter scale, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

According to Ecuador’s Geophysical Institute, the quake was the result of slippage on the San Antonio de Pichincha fault. “This is one of several shallow faults that cross the Quito area which are capable of causing major damage,” said the institute’s Lenin Gusqui. “Sunday’s quake was at a depth of five kilometers, the reason why it was felt intensely in some areas.

He added that within the last century, the San Antonio de Pichincha fault was responsible for three earthquakes ranging in magnitude of 5.6 to 6.4.

Besides Quito and Guayllabamba, Sunday’s quake was felt in Los Chillos Valley, Tumbaco, El Quinche, Tababela, San Isidro del Inca, Luluncoto and San Bartolo as well as in towns in southern Imbabura Province.

Officials at the Quito International Airport, located in Tababela, reported that some electronic systems were temporarily disabled to check for damage but none was found.