Civilians are evacuated in a police vehicle from the Pan-America highway area in Oyacoto, north of Quito, Ecuador. An earthquake shook Ecuador's capital and surrounding areas on Tuesday, causing tall buildings to sway and sending some people rushing into the streets. Picture: Dolores Ochoa

Quito - Ecuadorean authorities said on Wednesday that four people have died since a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the capital the day before, up from an initial count of two, as dozens of aftershocks rattled the city.

“We have four victims to lament,” Mauricio Rodas, the mayor of Quito, told reporters.

At least 44 medium-intensity aftershocks have been registered since the quake struck.

The earthquake triggered a landslide at a quarry in the Catequilla section of Quito that killed two employees of a Chinese contractor that works for the city.

Another victim, who has yet to be identified, died in a health facility in Catequilla.

The fourth victim, a four-year-old boy, died in a different area of the capital. He was killed when sacks of rice fell on top of him, the mayor said on Tuesday.

The quake also injured at least eight people.

Some residents remain in city shelters and authorities have called for calm despite the continued aftershocks.

The US Geological Survey said the moderate quake was only 7.7km deep. - Reuters