Last night, a second earthquake shook Ecuador just days after a 7.8-magnitude quake killed over 500 people. The aftershock happened at 3:33 a.m. local time and was the biggest since Saturday’s deadly quake, registering 6.1 on the Richter scale according to the U.S. Geological Survey. This tremor occurred offshore and there are no immediate reports of damage or injury at this time.
The strong aftershock came just hours after local officials raised the official death toll from Saturday’s earthquake to 525, which includes at least one U.S. citizen. More than 200 people are still missing, and the nation’s president has warned the public to brace for bad news. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama have communicated with Ecuadorean leaders, offering condolences following the tragedy.
Ecuador’s government reports that Saturday’s quake damaged some 1,500 buildings and displaced around 20,000 people. The USGS reports that the aftershock occurred 15 miles west of Muisne, Ecuador. The region is somewhat prone to large, shallow earthquakes of this nature and similar quakes have occurred over the years in Chile and Peru. Although earthquakes like this are typically associated with large tsunamis, Saturday’s quake lacked that characteristic, instead creating multiple mudslides and destroying buildings and roadways.