Lima, Dec 20: A series of moderate earthquakes rattled northwestern Ecuador, causing two deaths, injuring 20 people and damaging dozens of structures.
President Rafael Correa said on his Twitter account that Monday's quakes left some areas without electricity and prompted officials to close local schools. Cracks opened in the walls of some homes, and some families spent the rest of the night outside.
The US Geological Survey said the strongest of the quakes was a magnitude 5.4 shake at 2:11 am (local time), about 19 kilometers south-southwest of the coastal city of Esmeraldas. It was relatively close to the surface, just 10 kilometers deep.
Authorities said a 75-year-old woman died of heart failure in Esmeraldas. No details were given on the other death. Government emergency services reported 20 people hurt, five structures collapsed and 65 more damaged. The state oil company said it suspended operations at the important Esmeraldas refinery for safety.