Ecuador struck by two strong earthquakes

Two powerful earthquakes struck Wednesday in Ecuador, both measuring at magnitude 6.8.

The first occurred at 2:57 am (0757 GMT) on the Pacific Coast with an epicentre 32 kilometres underground and about 156 kilometres west-north-west of the capital Quito, the US Geological Survey said.

At 11:46 am (1646 GMT), the country was rattled again by a quake near the coastal city of Mompiche at a depth of 31 kilometres, 146 kilometres west-north-west of Quito.

Neither quake generated tsunami warnings, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

There were some reported power outages in coastal areas but no immediate reports of damage or casualties, President Rafael Correa said. He ordered schools temporarily closed nationwide and cancelled classes for the week in the provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas closest to the quakes.

A massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador on April 16, killing 660 people and injuring more than 4,600.

Ecuador, which is on the so-called Pacific "ring of fire," has a history of such quakes.

Last update: Wed, 18/05/2016 - 20:53

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