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Ecuador News

Several buildings damaged as strong earthquake rattles northern Andes, near Quito

At least a dozen buildings, including three schools, report significant damage as a result of a Tuesday morning earthquake centered 55 kilometers west of Ibarra. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake registered 5.0 on the Richter scale and occurred at a depth of 35 kilometers.

Workers in Quito await the “all clear” to return their buildings. (El Telegrafo)

The quake sent thousands of workers and school children into the streets of Quito and caused minor injuries to two children, who were cut by falling glass, in an Imbabura Province school. The earthquake was felt in Tungurahua, Imbabura, Pichincha, Santo Domingo and Carchi Provinces.

Schools and office buildings in Quito, Ibarra, Cotacachi and Otavalo were ordered evacuated immediately after the quake while officials conducted damage assessments. At 11 a.m., Quito Mayor Mauricio Rodas said no major damage had been reported in the city and said most workers and students had returned to their office buildings and schools.

The USGA said that the earthquake was unrelated to two strong seismic events, both above 5.0 magnitude, reported Tuesday in northern Peru.