Ecuador earthquake toll rises to nearly 650

The earthquake death toll in Ecuador rose to 646 people on Saturday, with more than 12,500 injured and 130 still unaccounted for, the country's public prosecutor's office said.

Some 26,000 people remain in emergency shelters a week after the 7.8 magnitude tremblor, officials said.

A total of 29 foreigners have been identified among the dead, including 10 Colombians, two Britons, an Irishman, an Italian, a Frenchman and a German, the office said.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said he would raise the value-added tax by two percentage points for a year and charge wealthy Ecuadorans a capital levy in order to pay for an estimated 3 billion dollars in damage.

The delivery of clean drinking water remains a challenge in the affected region and France announced it would send some 30 soldiers and a water purification system to the South American nation.

Last update: Sun, 24/04/2016 - 10:41
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