Photo: Epicenter of earthquake (NWS)
A magnitude-7.3 earthquake rocked no fewer than 11 provinces in southern and southwestern Colombia on Sunday, but so far there have been no reports of deaths or injuries, although a few homes were damaged in a small village.
The tremor’s epicenter was located below La Vega, a village in the southwestern province of Cauca, at a depth of 168 kilometers (104 miles), Colombia’s geological service said.
The quake occurred at 11:31 a.m., the geological service added.
The temblor was felt mainly in the provinces of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Huila , Risaralda, Quindio, Santander, Antioquia, Caldas, Tolima, Choco and Cundinamarca, of which Bogota is the capital, the national emergency management office said.
The U.S. Geological Survey initially said the quake measured 7.1 on the Richter Scale and was located at a depth of 150 kilometers (93 miles).
The national emergency management office said after an initial assessment that it had received reports that some homes in Timbiqui, a village in Cauca, were damaged, but nobody was reported to have been injured.
Emergency management officials in Bogota began moving through all the areas of the city with utility employees to determine if there had been any injuries or damage to power networks.
In the main provincial capitals, residents felt the earth shaking at times, especially in tall buildings, but nothing worse occurred amid the wailing of ambulance sirens moving through the streets to strategic locations or staging areas from where they could be deployed to deal with any eventuality, radio reports said.
The earthquake was felt in at least five provinces in Ecuador, the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute said.
There are reports that the quake was felt in the provinces of Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha, Guayas and Manabi, although word is still being awaited from other locations, institute technician Christian Viracucha told Efe.
The epicenter of the quake was located 61 kilometers (38 miles) south of the Colombian city of Popayan and 345 kilometers (214 miles) north of Quito, where it was strongly felt in tall buildings, as Efe verified, and which caused alarm among the public mainly for its duration.
Institute officials have no reports of damage or injuries in Ecuador from the Colombian quake, Viracucha said.
The “quake that occurred in southern Colombia does not pose a tsunami danger for the Ecuadorian coast or the island region,” Ecuador’s Naval Oceanographic Institute said in a Twitter posting.