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Magnitude 6.1 earthquake strikes off Ecuador coast

Collapsed buildings in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016. Three days after the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake struck Ecuador's Pacific coast in a zone popular with tourists, 480 people are known to have died, the government said. / AFP PHOTO / Juan Cevallos

Collapsed buildings in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016.<br />Three days after the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake struck Ecuador’s Pacific coast in a zone popular with tourists, 480 people are known to have died, the government said. / AFP PHOTO / Juan Cevallos

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake has struck near the coast of Ecuador, just days after the South American country was devastated by a deadly 7.8-magnitude quake, US experts said Wednesday.

The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 8:33 GMT at a depth of 15.7 kilometers (9.8 miles), was located 25 kilometers west of Muisne and 73 kilometers west-southwest of Propicia, the US Geological Survey said.

No tsunami warning has been issued.

The USGS indicated on its website that shaking was weak to light in the country’s capital Quito and its biggest city Guayaquil.

Late Saturday, a 7.8-magnitude quake struck Ecuador’s Pacific coast in a zone popular with tourists. The death toll from that quake currently stands at 480 but was set to rise sharply as after authorities warned that 1,700 people were still missing.

In an attempt to rescue survivors potentially trapped under the rubble, sniffer dogs and mechanical diggers were busy at work in the wreckage of coastal towns such as Pedernales and Manta as the stench of rotting bodies grew stronger under the baking sun.

International rescuers and aid groups rushed to help victims as searchers dug for families trapped in the debris of homes, hotels and businesses.



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