Ecuador quake: Death toll nears 650, Correa assures help

Quito(Ecuador) : A week after a devastating 7.8 quake hit Ecuador, the death toll has risen to 646 according to the latest reports.

The quake is said to be Ecuador’s worst in nearly seven decades, injuring about 12,500 people and leaving 130 missing along the country’s ravaged Pacific coast.

President Rafael Correa announced during his regular Saturday TV broadcast that the country was facing a crisis.

“These have been sad days for the homeland. The country is in crisis,” the Guardian quoted Correa as saying.

Since the quake, there have been several strong tremors and more than 700 aftershocks causing panic among the people.

With the nation still on the path to recovery after the massive earthquake that still has the death toll ticking, another quake measuring to 6.0 magnitude struck off the coast of Ecuador on Friday.

Reportedly, nearly 7,000 buildings have been destroyed and more than 26,000 people are living in shelters. The security personnel have been deployed in the affected areas, where sporadic lootings have been reported.

While survivors in the quake zone have been receiving food, water and relief materials from the government and scores of foreign aid workers, Correa acknowledged that poor road conditions delayed the arrival of aid to some communities.

The government said that it would temporarily increase some taxes, offer assets for sale and possibly issue bonds abroad to fund reconstruction as it faces huge rebuilding task at a time of greatly reduced oil revenues.

Correa has estimated the damage at between $2billion and $3billion. (ANI)