February 21, 2001

Two quakes rattle Ecuador; no damage reported

                  QUITO, Ecuador (Reuters) -- Two earthquakes shook Ecuador's northern coast
                  Wednesday morning, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported, the
                  Geophysical Institute at Quito's Polytechnic University said.

                  The first quake measured 4.7 on the Richter scale and hit at 6:55 a.m. EST
                  (1155 GMT). Its epicenter was some 34 miles (54 km) northwest of the coastal
                  city of Esmeraldas and was about 17 miles (27 km) below the Earth's surface,
                  the institute said in a statement.

                  A second quake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale was felt at 7:23 a.m. (1223
                  GMT), the statement said.

                  Residents in Esmeraldas, 198 miles (317 km) west of Ecuador's capital on the
                  Pacific coast, felt the quakes but did not report any damage.

                  Several cities on the Pacific coast of this Andean nation reported earthquakes last
                  year, with the most recent one in Ecuador's coastal commercial center of
                  Guayaquil in November.

                     Copyright 2001 Reuters.