Earthquakes of magnitudes exceeding 7.0 struck Japan and Ecuador just hours apart on Saturday. Are the two somehow related?
No. The two quakes occurred about 9,000 miles apart. That’s far too distant for there to be any connection between them.
Large earthquakes can, and usually do, lead to more quakes — but only in the same region, along or near the same fault. These are called aftershocks. Sometimes a large quake can be linked to a smaller quake that occurred earlier, called a foreshock. In the case of the Japanese quake, seismologists believe that several magnitude-6 quakes in the same region on the previous day were foreshocks to the Saturday event.