msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 8/12/2010 8:42:56 AM ET 2010-08-12T12:42:56

A powerful earthquake shook the South American nation of Ecuador on Thursday, but there were only scattered reports of damage or injury.

The magnitude-7.1 quake that hit at 6:54 a.m. was felt across much of the nation, including the capital, Quito.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 110 miles southeast of Quito. But it was also very deep — 131 miles below the surface — a distance that might have blunted its damage.

Ecuador's national Geophysics Institute reported that some areas shook for almost 10 minutes.

It said several houses were reported damaged in the cities of Guayaquil and Manta, where one person suffered minor injuries.

NBC News, Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Ecuador shaken by 7.1 quake

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