An earthquake of magnitude 7.8 on the Richter scale struck on Saturday night, on the northern coast of Ecuador, with the epicentre 27 kilometres southeast of the coastal town of Muisne and 170 kilometres northwest of Quito the capital city (U.S. Geological Survey). The earthquake occurred as the result of shallow thrust faulting on or near the plate boundary between the Nazca and Pacific plates.
It is the most powerful earthquake to hit the region in 36 years. The death toll from the quake has risen to more than 246, Ecuador’s Vice President Jorge Glas said Sunday evening on Ecuador TV. At least 2,527 people were injured, he said.