Strong quake hits Colombia: 6 hurt, but no major damage

BOGOTA Sat Feb 9, 2013 7:20pm GMT

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BOGOTA (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake rocked southwestern Colombia on Saturday, damaging more than 100 homes and causing minor injuries to six people, but sparing serious damage to roads and bridges, authorities said.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at 6.9 magnitude. Its epicentre was 6 miles (10 km) southwest of Pasto, near the Ecuador border, and was 80 miles (130 km) deep.

The quake was felt hundreds of miles south in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, where buildings shook for at least two minutes. Some residents in the Colombian capital, Bogota, were evacuated briefly.

A few people suffered minor injuries and some buildings, mainly private homes, were damaged.

"For the time being, the assessment shows that 124 homes, a health clinic and three schools have been damaged, and a church was destroyed, but no one was killed or disappeared. There are five adults and a child with (minor) injuries," said Carlos Ivan Marquez, the head of the national emergency services office.

"We confirm that we have not issued a tsunami warning and that there have been no aftershocks," he told reporters.

Ecuadorean media said the tremor was felt throughout the Andean country and that residents in the coastal city of Manta were briefly evacuated from their homes, but there were no reports of major damages.

(Reporting By Bogota bureau; Writing By Eduardo Garcia; Editing By Doina Chiacu and Gunna Dickson)

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