May 30, 2020

An earthquake of magnitude 4.6 shakes a sector of the Ecuadorian coast



An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 4.6 was registered this Friday in a marine sector near the coast of Salinas, in southwestern Ecuador, with no victims or material damage reported so far.

The Geophysical Institute (IG) of the National Polytechnic School reported that the earthquake occurred at 14:49 local time (19:49 GMT) about 76 kilometers east of the Salinas resort, in the coastal province of Santa Elena.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located in the sea 2.59 degrees south latitude and 81.52 degrees west longitude, at a depth of 10 kilometers, the IG said in a latest report released on its social networks.

The institute has so far no reports of victims or material damage, although it has opened an online application for the population to report if they have felt the tremor.

This type of earthquake is usually related to the so-called subduction phenomenon, by which the Nazca plate collides with the South American continental shelf.

In April 2016, that same phenomenon generated a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake, considered the worst in Ecuador’s recent history, which devastated the province of Manabí (west) and the south of its neighboring Esmeraldas (northwest), although it was felt throughout the country and in some areas of Colombia.

That earthquake left more than 670 dead, thousands affected, as well as millionaire material losses.

Ecuador is part of the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a geological chain that concentrates some of the most important subduction zones (collision of tectonic plates) in the world and which is the scene of strong seismic activity.

In addition to Ecuador, the Ring of Fire in America comprises a large number of countries such as Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Likewise, the Ecuadorian territory is crossed by the so-called “Avenue of the Andean volcanoes”, which also implies the presence of geological faults that usually generate earthquakes.

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