New earthquake ‘swarm’ on north coast causes damage and closes schools

Dec 19, 2016

A strong 5.8 magnitude earthquake woke residents of Esmeraldas and northern Manabi Provinces early Monday morning, shutting down electric service in several areas and causing an undetermined amount of damage. The quake was followed by at least four others, measuring between 3.5 to 4.5 magnitude.

Residents gather in the street following latest quake.

The 5.8 quake was felt in Quito, Santo Domingo, and Guayaquil.

The earthquake “swarm” is the second in a week on Ecuador’s north coast. The area was rattled by a much smaller 5.2 quake a week ago and more than a dozen after shocks. At the time, the national geophysical institute waned that more, stronger earthquakes are possible. It said the quake was unrelated to the massive 7.8 quake recorded in April.

President Rafael Correa Tweeted that schools would close today in Esmeraldas Province that it was too early to tell the extend of the damage.

Although the earthquakes were centered off the coast, the geophysical institute said there was no threat of tsunami.

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