A magnitude 6.1 earthquake sent residents and workers into the streets of Puyo, Ambato, Riobamba, and Quito at 12:50 Tuesday afternoon. The quake, felt in a large area of northern Ecuador, was centered 65 kilometers east of Puyo, near the small town of Sarayaku.
Towns in southern Colombian also reported feeling the tremor.
Early reports reported minimal damage, mostly due to the fact that the quake’s epicenter was in an uninhabited area on the fringe of the Amazon jungle. Until 6 p.m. Tuesday, there were seven aftershocks measuring between four and five magnitude.
The depth of the earthquake was 16.5 miles.
Mónica Segovia, a technician at the Ecuador Geophysical Institute said the quake was the result of movement of geological faults where the foothills of the Andes Mountains meet the jungle lowlands. She said tremors in the area are not uncommon, although one of 6 magnitude is rare.