Quake rattles Quito, but no major damage

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Medical personnel and patients are seen outside a public hospital after it was evacuated due to a 4.5 degree quake in Quito, on November 23, 2021 (AFP/Santiago PIEDRA SILVA)

A tremor measuring 4.6 hit the Ecuador capital Quito on Tuesday, rattling the city of 2.7 million people but without causing any major damage, authorities said.

The epicenter of the quake was a few kilometers from the city center, at a depth of some 12 kilometers, according to the Geophysical Institute of Ecuador.

Hospitals and other public buildings were evacuated, and workers rushed out of office buildings as alarms sounded, to gather in the street or in parks.

Images shared on social media showed broken glass, and fallen bricks and tiles at the foot of several buildings, but no major destruction.

"Our units are performing a damage assessment," said Cristian Torres, director of the National Risk Management Service.

Ecuador is a country with strong seismic activity.

In 2016, a quake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit the western provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas, killing 673 people and causing an estimated $3 billion in damage.


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