A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 has struck just off the coast of northwest Ecuador, centered near Pedernales and Muisne, seismologists say. A tsunami alert has been issued for coastal areas of Ecuador and Colombia.
The earthquake, at 6:58 p.m. local time on Saturday, was centered just northwest of Pedernales, or 28 kilometers (17 miles) southeast of Muisne. It struck about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to seismologists.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center put the preliminary magnitude of the earthquake at 7.4 and issued a tsunami alert for Ecuador and Colombia. "Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km of the earthquake epicenter," it said.