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The United States Geological Survey had preliminarily reported that on April 16, 2016, at about 23:58 UTC, a magnitude – 7.4 earthquake struck Ecuador in its coastal region. It has now been upgraded to magnitude – 7.8. This earthquake was geographically located at 0.34 North latitude and 79.972 West longitude.
Earthquakes are generalized as minor to great. Any earthquake of a magnitude between 7.0 and 7.9 is considered major. A major tremblor can do serious damage. About 20 of this type occur each year worldwide. This Ecuadorian quake struck at a depth of about 20 kilometers and was 28 kilometers away from the coastal city of Muisne.
Ecuador is a country of almost 16 million people, located in South America on the equator and on the Pacific Ocean. It is about the size of the state of Nevada in the United States, and it includes the Galapagos Islands. Almost three-quarters of the population are mestizos, a mixture of Amerindian and Caucasian. It borders both Columbia and Peru. More than half the country is made up of agricultural land and forests. It has over 2,300 kilometers of coastline and a tropical climate.
Initial reports do not indicate that there have been any casualties, although reports are scarce. There are no tsunami warnings at this time.
By Bob Reinhard
Edited by Jeanette Smith
United States Geological Survey: M7.4 – Near the Coast of Ecuador/M7.8 0 27km SSE of Muisne, Ecuador
Central Intelligence Agency: World Fact Book, Ecuador
Photo Courtesy of Family O’Abe’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License