2 strong quakes strike northwest Ecuador

QUITO — Two strong earthquakes struck the northwest coast of Ecuador on Sunday night. Authorities said there were no immediate reports of casualties and damage.

The first quake measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale hit Muisne, a beach town in the province of Esmeraldas at around 9:00 p.m. local time (0200 GMT on Monday) with a depth of 8.7 km, the Geophysical Institute of Ecuador said.

It was centered about 40 km south from the coastal city of Esmeraldas, which was devastated by a powerful quake in mid-April. The 7.8-magnitude earthquake left over 650 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

The second quake measured 6.2 jolted the same area about 10 minutes later, it added.

The tremors were slightly felt in the capital Quito.

“Two strong aftershocks centered in Muisne. (I ask) everyone to remain calm. A hug to all Esmeraldas. No tsunami warning,” President Rafael Correa tweeted.

In May, a 6.7 and a 6.8 magnitude aftershocks hit the western coast of the South American country, injuring dozens of people. PNA/Xinhua/northboundasia.com