More damage reported in the aftermath of Quito earthquake, the city’s strongest since 2014
More reports of damage to buildings and roadways in Quito were received Tuesday afternoon and evening following the 11 a.m. 4.6 magnitude earthquake. City officials said most of the damage was minor although several buildings suffered serious structural damage. No injuries were reported.
The earthquake that sent tens-of-thousands of workers and residents into the streets occurred at a depth of 4.3 kilometers 14 kilometers north of the city. It was felt through much of the northern sierra region and as far south as Cañar Province.
According to Ecuador’s Geophysical Institute, the quake was strongest in the capital since 2014.
On Tuesday night, the Quito Emergency Operations Committee reported at least 50 cases of damage to structures, including the partial collapse of two homes on the city’s east side. It said that several businesses and hotels sustained “significant” damage but did not yet know the extent. In addition, three city buildings and four schools showed exterior cracking.
About 20 structures in the city’s historic district suffered superficial damage, primarily to exteriors, the COE said. Masonry material fell from several structures, prompting police to block off sidewalks and streets.
Officials at the National Assembly said there was “widespread minor damage” to the building, mostly broken windows and cracking of the building’s fascia. The quake knocked items off desks and shelves in offices, they said.
Damage was also reported to several roadways as a result of rockslides on the north and east side of Quito. The largest slide, on Av. Simón Bolívar de los Conquistadores, destroyed one vehicle and damaged at least three others. Dust clouds rose over parts of the city following the quake, especially in areas suffering landslides.
The Geophysical Institute, originally reported the earthquake magnitude as 4.52 but upgraded it to 4.6 Tuesday afternoon. The U.S. Geological Survey, which tracks earthquakes worldwide, put the strength at 4.8. “The quake was felt strongly throughout Quito and surrounding areas due to the shallow depth of the epicenter,” the Geophysical Institute said in 5 p.m. statement. “There is a possibility of other earthquakes, possibly stronger ones, and we have alerted all emergency response agencies to the possibility.”