Massive (deep) earthquake of M 7.2 hits Ecuador

Last update in green below

Earthquake Report comment :
As the earthquake is very powerful, but very deep it will be felt far away from the epicenter
All data is preliminary at this point as data has to be recalculated by seismologists.
At first sight the epicenter lies in a wilderness area down from the Andes to the east.
First messages from Quito signal a light shaking.
Earthquake downgraded to M 6.9
Closest city to the epicenter : Puyo
GDACS has just issued a GREEN earthquake alert, thus minimizing the impact.
Only 6,257 people live in an area of 50 km around the epicenter.
As the earthquake occurred overland NO tsunami treat exists.

Ambato was completely destroyed by a large earthquake on the afternoon of 5 August 1949. Tragically, the entire city and surrounding villages were reduced to rubble; in total 50 towns and villages were destroyed. Six thousand people died, and thousands more were left homeless and destitute by the disaster.
Among the dead were a group of children preparing to receive their first communion  in the main church, and in the central Montalvo Park, the trees and flowers had disappeared into a rift in the earth. So many dead were found that there was not enough room in the city's central cemetery for them all; these people were buried in remains of the park.
The entire city was rebuilt from the ground up and earthquake-proofing the city became a main concern of the inhabitants. (Source : Wikipedia)

Update 14:34 UTC : The Ecuadorian on-line newspapers mention none to limited articles at the earthquake. It was felt down to Guyaquil, but very light. Based on our experience, people start sending emotional articles to the newspapers, but so far nobody did. Of course, we will have to wait for news of the epicenter area, but due to the depth of the quake ER does not expect much damage.  USGS calculation models give only a moderate shaking  in the earthquake epicenter area.  Probably this earthquake will be a frightening experience, but with a good end. Aftershocks (mostly in de same hypocenter depth will be probable for the coming hours and days).
The earthquake lasted for approx. 1 minute and was located in between the Provinces of NAPO and PASTAZA, well know by tourists.

Update 16:06 UTC : One of the bigger towns near the epicenter was Ambato, totally destroyed during another earthquake in 1949, outside of some small cracks and a small landslide blocking traffic for some time, no other damage was reported.  In Ambato, as well as in Riobamba and in Latacunga people ran immediately on the streets. They told reporters that the shaking went on for more than 40 seconds.
Even as far as Guyaquil, alarms started to ring, walls where shuddering and some older houses got cracks.
in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas power went down all over the city, but no damage was announced.

Find hereunder links to 3 articles of El Commercio (leading newspaper in Quito/Ecuador). Articles are in Spanish
Sismo de 7,1 grados se sintió hoy en Ecuador
La Amazonía peruana también sintió el sismo producido en Ecuador
El sismo de 7,1 alarmó a varios sectores del país

Read also the : Understanding the M 7.1 Ecuador earthquake

Most important Earthquake Data:
Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 06:54:14 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 211 km
Geo-location(s) :
145 km (90 miles) E of Ambato, Ecuador
155 km (95 miles) ENE of Riobamba, Ecuador
155 km (95 miles) SSW of Nueva Loja, Ecuador
175 km (110 miles) SE (136°) from QUITO, Ecuador

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS Shaking map
USGS historic earthquakes map
GDACS Green Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)
Ecuadorian Institute of Geofysics

* GDACS (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System) provides near real-time alerts about natural disasters around the world.  GDACS is a Joint Initiative of the United Nations and the European Commission

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