The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Inca warrior Rumiñahui - The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Moderate Earthquake Hits Ecuador’s Coast Near Guayaquil

South America continues to rumble.

Just six days after the eruption of the Calbuco Volcano in southern Chile, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake was reported this morning on Ecuador’s southwestern near Guayaquil, the country’s largest city. According to local reports, the tremor was felt in the coastal city of Manta and inland in Ambato, Cuenca, Riobamba, Loja and Santo Domingo. At 6:19 am, I felt nothing here in Quito but the coziness of my bed.

Incidents of swaying buildings were also reported but thus far only a couple minor injuries and no significant material destruction or damage have been reported.

Additionally, the country’s Risk Management Secretariat said that the tremor did not generate a tsunami alert.

The jolt in the Andean nation comes just three days after the horrific and devastating 7.8-magnitude quake that rocked Nepal where more than 5,000 fatalities have been reported, with the number still expected to rise. The country has also suffered a significant amount of material damage in the capital Kathmandu and elsewhere.

Earthquakes, along with volcanic eruptions, are frequent in Ecuador. Last August a 5.1-magnitude quake struck Quito, killing two and injuring eight others.

A magnitude of 5.8 is considered moderate while those that measure between 7.0 and 7.9 on the Richter scale considered major.

The photo? That’s Rumiñawi, a 16th century Inca warrior who has pride of place on the facade of the Museo Antropológico del Banco Central in Guayaquil, my favorite building in the city. I have yet to see a portrait more confident, fierce and proud in all of Ecuador, which warranted a series of five images that I published just over one year ago.

And for the record, today’s Pic du Jour, the blog’s 470th (!) straight, was taken on 14 May 2013.


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