A magnitude 7.8 earthquake as hit the Muisne area of Ecuador, according to The Los Angeles Times. The quake, which originated off the central coast, could be felt in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city. The area hit was not densely populated.
Two airports were closed, an overpass collapsed and there has been widespread damage, according to The Los Angeles Times. After shocks continued to after the initial quake with one registering as a magnitude 5.6. Of the two airports closed, one was closed due to a damaged control tower and the other due to loss of communication systems. An image of the destruction was tweeted from the Airplane Pictures Twitter account:
— Airplane Pictures ✈️ (@iLove_Aviation) April 17, 2016
CBS News reported that the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center stated that tsunami waves were likely, but the threat of landslides were more concerning. Ecuador’s government has not issued a tsunami alert. According to NBC News, President Correa told the public via twitter, to seek higher ground if they were located on the coast. NBC News also reported that homes near the epicenter, in the Esmeraldas, were destroyed.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) stated that two more earthquakes happened after the first 7.8 magnitude. Approximate 10 minutes after the 7.8, a 4.8 was registered and then 30 minutes later a 5.4. The 5.4 magnitude earthquake happened near Bahia de Caraquez and the 4.8 near Pedernales. The subduction along plates in this region of the world are known to have produced the largest earthquakes ever recorded.
In 1987, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit an area east of this current epicenter killing close to 1,000 people.
The strongest earthquake recorded was a magnitude 9.5 earthquake and was produced along these plates. In 1987, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit an area east of this current epicenter killing close to 1,000 people.
BBC News tweeted that at least 16 people were killed in the Muisne earthquake.
At least 16 people reported killed as huge earthquake hits coastal Ecuador, vice-president says https://t.co/S1yzz09EuN
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 17, 2016