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The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 14 miles northeast of Quito at a depth of 4 miles. There were no reports of widespread damage, but some roads were blocked by small landslides. Authorities halted operations at the capital Tababela airport as a precaution because of a thick layer of dust thrown up into the sky around Quito.
The National Risk Control Agency said the earthquake triggered a landslide at a quarry in the Quito area that killed two people who worked there, adding that firemen were searching for three others. "Obviously the landslide was caused by the tremor, but there was already weakness there due to illegal mining ... or quarries being exploited improperly," President Rafael Correa told reporters in the port city of Guayaquil. Separately, the mayor of Quito reported that only one person died in the landslide and that a 4-year-old boy was killed in another part of the city when sacks of rice fell on top of him.