Two people have been killed in Ecuador after a 5.1 magnitude
earthquake struck near the capital of Quito, with eight
others wounded and rescue workers still seeking to free
others trapped after the tremor.
The National Risk Control Agency said the earthquake
triggered a landslide at a quarry in the Quito area that
killed two people who worked there, adding that firemen were
searching for three others.
"Obviously the landslide was caused by the tremor, but there
was already weakness there due to illegal mining ... or
quarries being exploited improperly," President Rafael Correa
told reporters in the port city of Guayaquil.
Separately, the mayor of Quito reported that only one person
died in the landslide and that a 4-year-old boy was killed in
another part of the city when sacks of rice fell on top of
Social media showed images of dust clouds that had formed
after the tremor as a result of shifting earth.
The city's main airport returned to normal operations after
earlier halting flights as a precautionary measure to
evaluate its infrastructure.
The temblor snarled traffic in the city of 1.6 million and
led startled office workers to stream out of buildings.
"We could really feel it. The first thing I did was leave
(the building) with my colleagues," said Teresa Salazar, 45,
who works at an imports business in northern Quito. "There
was nothing major to report, but we were all very nervous."
The U.S. Geological Survey said the moderate quake was only
4.8 miles (7.7 km) deep, with its epicenter located 14 miles
northeast of Quito.