QUITO – President Rafael Correa said on Wednesday that one person died and 85 others suffered slight injuries as a result of the magnitude-6.8 earthquake that rocked Ecuador’s north coast at around midday.
Correa said one elderly male died in Tosagua, a city in Manabi province, but that the precise cause was unknown.
The president noted that one version said the man fell while running and struck his head but that another indicated a beam fell on top of him.
Correa said a safety protocol had been activated at schools following the temblor at midday and another quake – also magnitude-6.8 – that struck that same coastal region in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Under that protocol, parents were called to take their children home and teachers were required to stay until the last student had been picked up from the premises.
Classes at grade schools and universities in Manabi and neighboring Esmeraldas, the provinces hardest-hit by the earthquakes, have been suspended until Monday to allow time to evaluate those different educational facilities, he said.
Seismologists said Wednesday’s temblors were aftershocks of the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit Ecuador’s north coast on April 16, leaving 661 people dead, 12 missing and 28,678 homeless.
Correa warned that Ecuadorians needed to be prepared for more aftershocks of greater than magnitude-6.0.