Experts say this has been an exceptional week for the earthquake-prone zone known as the Ring of Fire, but it isn’t indicative of greater disasters to come
A week ago, the Japanese island of Kyushu in the country’s south was hit by an earthquake that killed at least nine people, injured hundreds of others and caused significant damage. Measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale, the quake mainly affected the town of Mashiki on the outskirts of Kumamoto city.
The real devastation, however, came around 48 hours later, when the same region was struck by a far more powerful, magnitude 7.3 quake. At least 33 others were killed in the second quake, which left close to 200,000 displaced and thousands of homes without electricity or running water.
The same day as the second temblor, around 9,000 miles away on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador was hit with an earthquake that far exceeded the destruction seen in Japan. Even as the death toll from the 7.8-magnitude quake rose to almost 600, the South American nation was rocked by several aftershocks — including one on Wednesday that measured 6.1.