Ecuador Hit By Twin Earthquakes Measuring Magnitude 6.4 And Magnitude 5.9

The South American country of Ecuador, which is still recovering after it was hit by a string of large earthquakes a few months ago, has once again, been hit by two large earthquakes, 10 minutes apart. We have fresh reports coming in about two large earthquakes – one measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale and the other one measuring 5.9 hitting the region earlier today.

According to Russia Today, the earthquakes struck just 10 minutes apart in the same regions. Interestingly, the second quake was slightly larger in magnitude compared to the first one – a phenomenon not very commonly observed during earthquakes. The epicenter of both the earthquakes was reported to be in an area 32 kilometers (20 miles) northwest of the town of Rosa Zarate. This small town with a population of 60,000 people is located in the Esmeraldas province of the country and is located nearly 90 miles away from the capital city of Quito.

Meanwhile, officials have confirmed that no tsunami alert has been issued following these earthquakes. Government authorities also added that all schools in the earthquake affected regions will remain closed until furtjer notice. Consdering the large size of the twin earthquakes, many people expect smaller aftershocks in the next few days. Buildings in the nearby province of Manabi are being inspected to check for any damages.

Already rattled by a string of earthquakes in the past three months, residents of the area panicked and ran out of their homes onto the streets when the first earthquake struck. Pictures posted on Twitter and other social media websites show people sitting on the streets just to be safe.

Power outages have been reported from several regions. At this time, there are no reports of severe damage to property or life. We might get a clearer picture, however, on daybreak. After the quake hit, the country’s President Rafael Correa took to twitter and requested people not to panic.

Earlier this year, on April 16, Ecuador was hit by a massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake which resulted in the deaths of more than 660 people and injured more than 27,000 people. Following this quake, the government declared a state of emergency after which more than 13,000 military personnel and members of paramilitary and police forces participated in the rescue and rebuilding efforts.

While these efforts were underway, just a month later, another large earthquake, this one measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, hit the country again. The smaller size of the earthquake did not cause mass casualties but did leave one person, a senior citizen, dead and 85 others injured.

According to the U.S Geological Survey, these latest earthquakes centered around Ecuador are caused by the Nazca plate on which most of the country lies. The Nazca plate and the South America plate have been interacting with each other for millions of years, and the same interaction has resulted in the creation of the Andes mountain range – the longest in the world. The Andes range also happens to be the highest mountain range outside of Asia and includes the peak of Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of Asia.

[Image Via AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd]