The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake at a depth of 8.7 km in southern Carchi Province in northern Ecuador, slightly before 5.25 am local time (slightly before 10.25 am GMT) on Wednesday 16 October 2013. There are no reports of any damage or injuries arising from this event, though it is likely to have been felt locally.
The approximate location of the 16 October 2013 Carchi Province Earthquake. Google Maps.
Ecuador is on the west coast of South America and the western margin of the South American Plate, close to where the Nazca Plate, which underlies part of the east Pacific, is being subducted along the Peru-Chile Trench. The Nazca Plate passes under the South American Plate as it sinks into the Earth, this is not a smooth process and the plates repeatedly stick together then break apart as the pressure builds up, causing Earthquakes. As the Nazca Plate sinks further it is melted by the heat of the Earth's interior. Some of this melted material then rises through the overlying South American Plate, fueling the volcanoes of Ecuador and neighboring countries.
See also Further eruptions on Mount Tungurahua, 200 people evacuated after eruption on Tungurahua, Canadian tourist killed by falling ice on Ecuadorean volcano, Eruption on Volcán El Reventador and Massive Earthquake deep beneath Columbia.
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