A magnitude-5.1 earthquake hit the Ecuadorian province of Pichincha on Tuesday and shook this capital, according to the Geophysical Institute of the National Polytechnic School.

The institute, which received no reports of casualties, said the quake occurred at 2:57 p.m. (1957 GMT).

A source at the institute told Efe that the temblor was generated at an estimated depth of 5 kilometers (3 miles) in Calderon, some 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Quito.

The powerful quake caused landslides in a number of sandpits and hills in the area, which sent up a dust cloud that was easily observed from the capital.

The temblor was also felt strongly in Quito, while social networks spread the news that it also shook cities farther away like Atuntaqui and Ibarra, the latter located some 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of the capital.

The Guayasamin Tunnel, which connects the city with neighboring Cumbaya Valley, was closed to traffic due to the dust cloud caused by the landslides.

Meanwhile at Mariscal Sucre International Airport, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of the capital, operations were suspended because of the dust cloud.

The Geophysical Institute recommended that people "keep calm" and listen for the latest reports issued by the authorities. EFE