Early morning earthquake near Cuenca follows stronger Guayaquil quake on Monday

Feb 5, 2019

Much of southern Ecuador woke up to a 4.8 magnitude earthquake early Tuesday morning. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the 4:53 a.m. quake was centered 15 miles east of Azogues, just north of Paute.

Ecuador emergency services reported that the earthquake was felt “mildly to moderately” in Cuenca, Gualaceo, Paute, Chordeleg, Sígsig, Girón and Santa Isabel as well as several communities in Cañar Province. The earthquake was also felt in El Oro, Loja, Zamora Chinchipe Provinces and parts of Guayas Province.

Emergency services reported that preliminary assessments indicated that the earthquake caused no injuries or serious property damage in Cuenca or surrounding towns.

Tuesday’s earthquake was preceded by a more powerful 5.8 magnitude quake Monday afternoon that sent workers and school children into the streets in Guayaquil early Monday afternoon and was felt in much of the western half of the country. The Monday quake occurred at 12:45 p.m. and was centered 17 miles south of Duran in Guayas Province, according to USGS.

Works wait outside a building following Monday afternoon earthquake.

Risk management officials ordered inspections of highway bridges and tunnels and several buildings in Guayaquil, Duran and Playas but said that preliminary reports showed only minor damage. The mid- and high-rise residential buildings that were examined had suffered damage during the 7.8 magnitude April 2016 north coast earthquake.

Outside of the epicenter zone, residents in Quito, Salinas, Santo Domingo, Cuenca, Manta, Portoviejo, and Quevedo reported feeling the quake. School children in several cities were temporarily evacuated from their buildings.

According to the U.S.G.S the Monday earthquake occurred at a depth of 43 miles while the Tuesday morning quake was at a depth of 56 miles.

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