Ecuador quake "20 times" stronger than Japan quake

Ecuador quake "20 times" stronger than Japan quake

People rest in front of a destroyed house in Manta, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016 a day after a powerful 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country.  / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTA
People rest in front of a destroyed house in Manta, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016 a day after a powerful 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTA

The total energy released by the earthquake in Ecuador that killed at least 246 people "was probably about 20 times greater" than the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit southern Japan on Friday, a scientist says.

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Ecuador digs for survivors after quake kills 246

Portoviejo, Ecuador, AFP – Rescuers in Ecuador burrowed through rubble where towns once stood Sunday in an increasingly desperate attempt to find survivors of an earthquake that killed at least 246 people and allowed scores of inmates to escape prison.

About 2,500 people were injured when the strong 7.8-magnitude quake hit Saturday evening, bringing structures crashing down, Vice President Jorge Glas said.

Some 200 aftershocks of lesser intensity have followed the quake.

Although the oil-producing South American nation frequently suffers seismic shudders because of its position on the Pacific rim's Ring of Fire, the quake – though it lasted just one minute – was the worst in nearly 40 years in Ecuador.

Ecuador has been rocked by seven earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or higher in the region of Saturday's quake since 1900, the US Geological Survey said. One in March 1987 killed about 1,000 people.

David Rothery, a professor of geosciences at Britain's Open University, said the 7.8 magnitude meant that "the total energy involved was probably about 20 times greater" than the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed at least 41 people in southern Japan on Saturday.

He said there was no causal link between the two quakes.

The epicenter of the quake was 170 kilometers northwest of the capital Quito, which suffered relatively little damage beyond cracks in walls and a power outage.

The quake wrecked buildings, toppled power lines and sent terrified residents running from their homes when it struck a coastal zone popular with tourists.

Rescuers work in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, a day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIA

Some 100 inmates in a prison in the western town of Portoviejo escaped when the quake shook their facility, Justice Minister Ledy Zuniga tweeted.

About 30 of them had been recaptured, some had returned voluntarily and police were hunting for the others.

Officials have declared a state of emergency in the worst-hit provinces, and a national state of "exception," both of which suspend certain civil rights and liberties to allow security forces and officials to react faster.

Officials said the oil infrastructure of Ecuador, an OPEC member, seemed intact.

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  • aftershock: a sudden movement of the Earth's surface which often follows an earthquake and which is less violent than the first main movement - แผ่นดินไหวเล็กน้อยที่เกิดหลังจากแผ่นดินไหวรุนแรง
  • causal (adj): connected with the relationship between two things, where one causes the other to happen - เกี่ยวกับสาเหตุ, ความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างเหตุและผล
  • civil rights: the basic rights that people in society should have - สิทธิพื้นฐานของพลเมือง
  • coastal: of an area of land beside the sea - แนวชายฝั่งทะเล
  • crack: a line on a surface where something is beginning to break apart - รอยแตก  รอยร้าว
  • declare: to announce officially that something is true or happening - ประกาศ ยืนยัน
  • desperate: very worried or confused because you do not know how to deal with an unpleasant or dangerous situation - อย่างสิ้นหวัง  อย่างหมดหวัง
  • earthquake: a sudden shaking movement of the ground - แผ่นดินไหว
  • epicenter: the point on the earth's surface where the effects of an earthquake are felt most strongly - ศูนย์กลาง
  • escape (verb): to get away from a place; to leave a place where you are in danger - หนี
  • exception (noun): something that is different in some way from other things and so cannot be included in a general statement ("without exception", means complete agreement with no one disagreeing) - ข้อยกเว้น
  • facility (noun): a building, equipment, etc., used for a particular purpose - โรงงาน, สถานบริการ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก
  • frequently: happening often - บ่อยๆ
  • geosciences (noun): earth sciences, especially geology - ธรณีวิทยา
  • infrastructure: a set of systems within a place or organisation that affect how well it operates, e.g., the telephone and transport systems in a country or the system of train tracks that a railway uses - สาธารณูปโภค
  • injured (adj): hurt in an accident, natural disaster, attack, etc. - ได้รับบาดเจ็บ
  • inmate: someone who is kept in a prison, mental hospital or other institution - ผู้ถูกกักกัน, ผู้ถูกกักบริเวณในเรือนจำหรือโรงพยาบาล
  • intact: not harmed, damaged, or lacking any parts as a results of something that has happened - สมบูรณ์ ไม่บุบสลาย
  • intensity (noun): strength - ความเข้มข้น
  • liberty: the freedom to live as you wish or go where you want - อิสรภาพ, สิทธิขั้นพื้นฐาน
  • link: a connection - การเชื่อมต่อ
  • magnitude: size or strength - ขนาดหรือ ความรุนแรง
  • OPEC (noun): Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (an organisation of countries that produce and sell oil) - กลุ่มประเทศผู้ส่งออกน้ำมัน
  • outage: power cut - ช่วงเวลาที่ไม่มีกระแสไฟฟ้า
  • popular (adj): a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
  • prison: a place where criminals are put to stay for a period of time as punishment for a crime - คุก, ,เรือนจำ
  • professor: a university teacher of the highest rank - ศาสตราจารย์
  • quake: earthquake, a sudden shaking movement of the ground - แผ่นดินไหว
  • react: to behave in a particular way because of something that is happening around you or something that someone is doing to you - ตอบสนอง, เกิดปฏิกิริยา
  • recapture: to catch a person or an animal that has escaped - จับกลับคืน
  • region: a large area of land or space, usually without exact limits or borders - ภูมิภาค, ขอบเขต, แถบ, บริเวณ
  • relatively: somewhat; in comparison with someone or something similar - ค่อนข้าง
  • rescuer: a person whose job is to save someone from a dangerous or unpleasant situation - ผู้ช่วยชีวิต
  • residents: people who live in a particular area - ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
  • rim (noun): the edge of something in the shape of a circle - ขอบ, ริม
  • rock (verb): to shake or to make something shake violently - สั่นสะเทือน, ทำให้สั่นสะเทือน
  • rubble: broken pieces of stone and brick from building, walls, etc., that have been destroyed - ซากปรักหักพัง
  • scores: large numbers of - จำนวนมาก
  • security forces (noun): members of the military (army, navy, air force, and similar organizations) or police -
  • seismic: connected with or caused by earthquakes - เกี่ยวกับแผ่นดินไหว
  • shudder (verb): to shake very hard - สั่น, สั่นกระตุก
  • state of emergency: a dangerous situation in which the government takes on special powers and the rights of the people are often limited in some way - ภาวะฉุกเฉิน   
  • struck (past of strike) (verb): hit forcefully or violently - ตี, กระแทก, ชน
  • structure: something large such as a building or a bridge that is built from different parts - โครงสร้าง
  • suffer: to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation - ประสบความลำบาก
  • survivor: someone who still exists after an event that could have killed or destroyed them - ผู้รอดชีวิต
  • suspend: to stop for a period of time - ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว
  • terrified: very frightened - ตกใจ, ใจหาย, ขวัญหนี
  • topple: to cause to fall - คว่ำลงมา
  • US Geological Survey (noun): a scientific agency of the United States Government that reports earthquake activity around the world -
  • voluntarily: done because you choose to do it rather than because you have to - ด้วยความสมัครใจ
  • wreck: to destroy or badly damage something - ทำให้เสียหาย, ทำให้หายนะ
  • zone: an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed - พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
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