Two earthquakes have hit Ecuador in the same region where more than 650 people were killed last month, Sky News reports. The latest tremors, measuring 6.7 and 6.8 in magnitude according to the US Geological Survey, killed one person and caused light damage.
Electricity was cut in some coastal areas and people were sent running into the streets as far away as the highland capital of Quito, witnesses said.
President Rafael Correa said the epicentre of the first quake overnight was the fishing village of Mompiche on the Pacific coast, about 368 km (229 miles) from Quito.
He said the tremors caused light injuries due to people bumping into things as they ran out of buildings, adding that the person died in circumstances that are not clear at this stage.
“We lament the death, which was caused either directly or indirectly by the earthquake, of a senior citizen in the city of Tosagua,” Mr Correa said, referring to a city in the coastal province of Manabi.
There was no tsunami warning. The second tremor struck just before midday. The 16 April earthquake, Ecuador’s worst in nearly 70 years, flattened buildings along the coast.
As well as the fatalities, the tremor also injured more than 6,000 people, made nearly 29,000 homeless, and caused an estimated $2bn (£1.3bn) in damage, according to the government’s latest tally.
Mr Correa described Wednesday’s first tremor as another aftershock from the April quake. “Despite the alarm and the scare and the possibility of new damage … it’s normal, you expect aftershocks for two months after,” he said.
Ecuador’s Esmeraldas refinery, which produces 110,000 barrels a day, was working at 77 percent capacity after some operations were halted when the first quake struck on Wednesday.
Many countries who live with the threat of “The Big One” have developed earthquake early warning systems after devastating quakes killed thousands of people. Mexico City has had a system since 1991, which was built after a 1985 quake killed at least 9,500 people.
And Japan built a nationwide early warning system after the 1995 Kobe earthquake killed more than 5,000 people. Californian governor Jerry Brown has now announced a major policy change by seeking state funds for a fledgling earthquake early warning system, which would allow for a limited rollout of alerts by 2018.