Earthquake along Ecuador’s coast kills one, destroys hotels

Map of location in Ecuador, center of earthquake Map of location in Ecuador, center of earthquake

QUITO (Reuters) – A 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador’s Pacific coast early on Monday, killing one person, injuring a dozen others and damaging hotels in the area, authorities said.

The country’s geological institute recorded the quake off the coast of Atacames in Esmeraldas province, northwest of Quito, the capital. The quake was followed by 15 lesser-magnitude aftershocks.

“We regret that a 75-year-old woman suffered a heart attack because of the quake,” national risk management secretary Susana Duenas told local radio. The health ministry said a dozen people were injured.

In a preliminary report, authorities said three hotels in the area, a popular tourist destination, were destroyed and other buildings sustained substantial damage.

President Rafael Correa was meeting with local officials in the area, which was devastated in a 7.8 magnitude quake earlier this year that killed about 670 people, displaced thousands and caused millions of dollars in damage.

Oil infrastructure in the area was unaffected by Monday’s quake, the state oil company Petroecuador said.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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