Panic in the streets after 2 strong quakes shake coastal area of Ecuador

Two strong earthquakes shook the north-western coastal area of Ecuador on Sunday night, the latest aftershocks from a powerful tremor that killed hundreds of people in April. Blackouts were reported in several area cities, and landslides were reported on mountainous roads. “Another very strong one. Again the nightmare,” Santo Domingo resident Marcela Arellano told AFP. She said that in the streets “children were crying, and everyone was scared”. According to the Geophysical Institute, there have been 2,134 aftershocks since the April 16 earthquake. The strongest aftershocks came in May and was of magnitude 6.8.

We’re going to have this type of earthquakes for a long time.

Alexandra Alvarado, head of the Geophysical Institute

The U.S. Geological Service measured the first quake at magnitude 5.9 and said it was centered about 41km (25.5 miles) south of the coastal city of Esmeraldas. The second quake measured 6.4 about 10 minutes later in the same area. Both tremors were about 35km (22 miles) below the surface.Some slight shaking was felt in Ecuador’s capital of Quito, which is 153km (94 miles) to the south- east. The quakes hit in the same general region on the Pacific coast where a magnitude 7.8 quake wrecked the town of Pedernales on April 16. That was Ecuador’s worst natural disaster in decades, killing 663 people and leaving nearly 29,000 homeless.