South America

Magnitude 6.0 quake hits Ecuador coast

There have been no reports of injuries or damage after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake rattled Ecuador's coast.

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck along the coast of Ecuador in the same area where a much stronger tremor left hundreds dead last year.

President Lenin Moreno said there were no immediate reports of victims or major damage from the quake, which jolted many Ecuadorians who were still in bed shortly after 6am on Sunday local time. It was felt in 12 provinces across the country.

The US Geological Survey said the quake, with a depth of 25km , was centred around the town of San Vicente.

Authorities said that there wasn't a risk of a tsunami and appealed for calm.

They also expressed optimism that Ecuadorians were better prepared for a natural disaster after rebuilding from last year's magnitude 7.8 quake along the Pacific coast that left more than 600 people dead and thousands more injured and homeless.

"We've made some giant steps and are much more prepared than we were in the past," said Ricardo Penaherrera, a top official with Ecuador's agency for risk management, pointing out that authorities carried out an earthquake drill last week in the same area where Sunday's quake took place.

He said authorities were still canvassing coastal areas for damage but that other than knocking out power in some rural areas there were no immediate reports of major damage.

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