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5.1 Earthquake in Quito, Ecuador, Sets off Mudslides, Kills at Least 2

At least two people were killed and eight injured in Ecuador after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake in the capital city of Quito set off mudslides and sent people rushing out into the streets on Tuesday.

Photos on social media show a cloud of dust engulfing portions of the city and cars crushed by rocks and mud from collapsed hillsides.

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The government said two people were confirmed dead and eight injured in the Catequilla area, seven miles north of the capital near the country’s monument marking the Equator. No information was given on how those deaths occurred. Rescue crews were on scene in Catquilla digging through rubble. According to Ecuadorian news site El Universo, several people were trapped in the area,  but rescue crews were having a hard time getting to them.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 14 miles northeast of Quito at a depth of 4 miles.

There were no reports of widespread damage, but some roads were blocked by small landslides. Authorities halted operations at the capital Tababela airport as a precaution because of a thick layer of dust thrown up into the sky around Quito.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Ecuador’s Volcano Alley

A wild Vicuna standing in front of the Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador. (Wikimedia/David Torres Costales)


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