Minimal Damage to Quito


The Ecuadorean capital of Quito says the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked parts of Ecuador on April 16 affected mainly coastal areas, with populated areas in the highlands, such as Quito, feeling “tremors, but to a much lesser degree.”

Quito mayor Mauricio Rodas Espinel said the earthquake affected six dwellings in the city, three of them in the Southern district, which is outside traditional tourist areas.

“At this time, damage to patrimonial places in Quito’s Historical District Center is being evaluated,” authorities said. Quito’s old quarter has UNESCO World Heritage Site status because of its colonial architecture.

The city’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport is operating normally. The Crisis Coordination Committee of the airport has already conducted an assessment of the airport infrastructure and given it a clean bill of health. Flights are operating normally out of Quito, but other airports may be experiencing suspensions and delays. Tourists are asked to contact their airline and to stay informed of the status of their flights. The Twitter account @AeropuertoUIO is continuously updated.

“The city of Quito remains safe. The city’s public services including water, power, telephone service, internet service, and public transportation, are functioning normally. In a purely precautionary and preventive measure, the mayor of Quito has ordered that all public events and venues including movie theatres, entertainment centres, coliseums, dance clubs, etc., be suspended for the next 72 hours. Tourist venues, located mainly in La Mariscal and the Historical District centre, are functioning on a partial basis as a result of the State of Emergency. While tourism operations within Quito’s urban area are functioning relatively normally, some museums and tourist sites in the Historical District will not be open,” the city said in a statement released earlier this week.

Rodas urged locals and visitors to remain calm due to potential aftershocks, and to stay informed using official sources; to have an emergency kit ready, and to be aware of the safety and meeting points designated for emergencies. Visitor are asked to stay in touch with their hotels and embassies to receive instructions and official information.