Death toll reaches 500 in Ecuador quake amid search for missing

More than 500 people were confirmed killed in Ecuador's most powerful earthquake in decades, officials said late Tuesday, as rescuers were searching for the missing amid widespread destruction.

A total of 525 bodies were recovered, of which 518 were identified, the Attorney General's office said.

There are at least 11 foreigners among the dead: three Colombians, three Cubans, two Canadians, as well as one victim from the Dominican Republic, Britain and Ireland.

More than 4,600 were injured, and more than 100 still missing, the National Risk Management Agency (SNGR) said. The coastal province of Manabi was hit hardest, accounting for nearly all of the casualties.

More than 20,000 people have fled their homes since the 7.8-magnitude quake struck late Saturday on the Pacific Coast of northern Ecuador, according to SNGR.

President Rafael Correa estimated reconstruction could cost billions of dollars and take "months, years."

Some have been pulled alive from the rubble, raising hopes of survivors even as the rescue effort approached its fourth day.

A man in the provincial capital of Portoviejo was located after 40 hours trapped under a collapsed hotel thanks to his mobile phone.

But another five people were killed when the building crumbled.

The US development agency USAID said Tuesday it had deployed a team of disaster experts to Ecuador and provided an initial 100,000 dollars for critical supplies. The European Union deployed its own disaster experts and pledged an initial 1 million euros to help.

The United Nations' World Food Programme said Monday it had sent a convoy with enough food to feed 8,000 people for 15 days.

Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said 13 countries were providing aid to the recovery efforts, and 654 international experts were helping on the ground.

Last update: Wed, 20/04/2016 - 11:38
Author: 

Related

More from World

Jammeh looted state coffers before leaving Gambia, say officials

Former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh emptied the country’s state coffers before relinquishing power, a member of the...

Trump invites Netanyahu to meeting as new settlement action weighed

US President Donald Trump has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet him at the White House next...

Trump's senior staff sworn in at White House

About 30 officials who will serve as advisers and assistants to President Donald Trump were were sworn in Sunday at...

Dozens killed in clashes in south-west Yemen

ozens of people have been killed in clashes in war-torn Yemen's south-west, a source in the Yemeni military told dpa...

Iran hands down 5-year prison sentence to British woman for spying

A court in Tehran has sentenced a British woman, who has already been held in custody in Iran for 10 months, to five...