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6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Ecuador Anew Following Major Quake

Apr 21, 2016 06:55 AM EDT
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Ecuador was hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake early Wednesday, a few days after a major earthquake battered the country and killed nearly 500 people.

According to the U.S Geological Survey, the latest earthquake hit 25 km (15 miles) off Muisne on the northwest Pacific coast at a depth of 15 km, which was not far from the epicenter of the 7.8 magnitude quake that devastated Ecuador on Saturday.

The 6.2 magnitude quake hit at 3:33 a.m. local time and was followed by a series of aftershocks, Ecuador's Geophysical Institute said. However, there was no tsunami warning.

In a statement, Ecuador's Foreign Minister said the catastrophe is the worst tragedy Ecuador has experienced in 60 years. The earthquake is the deadliest to hit Ecuador since the 1979 temblor left hundreds of homes destroyed and thousands of people fearing for their lives.

A report by CNN said that the weeekend quake hit coastal Manabi Province the hardest, where about 200 people died. It also added that tourists destinations such as Manta, Portoviejo and Pedernales, saw the most devastation.

The quake is seen as a great setback to an already weak economy. The estimated financial cost of the weekend quake has been pegged between $2 to $3 Billion, reports Associated Press, about three percent of gross domestic product. Recovery would not only cost large sums, but also take years. President Rafael Correa, who supervised the rescue and monitoring, called on Ecuadoreans to stay strong while authorities supervise events.

As of this writing, some 20,500 people were left sleeping in shelters struggling with water, food and power while more than 200 are still missing.

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