Ecuador earthquake
A man stares at the rubble in Portoviejo, Ecuador Juan Cevallos/ AFP

A powerful fresh earthquake measuring 6.0 magnitude has struck Ecuador as rescue workers continued to search for survivors of an earlier quake which killed almost 600 people. The latest earthquake's epicentre was 62 miles (100km) north-northwest of Portoviejo and hit on Thursday night (21 April).

An aftershock measuring 5.8 was also recorded by the US Geological Survey about 20 minutes later in the same region. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, and a tsunami warning had not been issued.

It comes just days after Ecuador was hit by a major 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 16 April causing hundreds of buildings to collapse and significant damage to infrastructure. The death toll has so far reached 587 with 155 people listed as missing. Foreign nationals, including from the UK, Ireland and Canada, have been confirmed among the dead.

Rescue workers, friends and family continued to hunt for remaining survivors as thousands made homeless sought refuge in makeshift shelters. Unicef warned on Tuesday at least 150,000 children are affected, which 119 schools left damaged.

President Rafael Correa said the cost of reconstruction could be up to $3bn (£2.1bn). International aid agencies including The World Food Programme and Oxfam are sending supplies to the country while the UN said it was to carry out a "major aid airlift" to help provide clean water, food and essential shelter.

Several powerful tremors have followed Saturday's earthquake, including one of a 6.2 magnitude which struck off the country's coastal town of Muisne early on Wednesday morning.

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