The authorities of Ecuador on Sunday, announced that the death toll from last week’s devastating magnitude-7.8 earthquake has risen to 654 with more than 12,500 injured and 130 still unaccounted for.
It was however, learnt via the website of the secretariat for risk management that 113 people had been rescued alive following the quake that flattened coastal towns and more than 25,000 people remained in shelters.
The death toll from Ecuador’s quake has surpassed that of Peru’s 2007 temblor, making it the deadliest quake in South America.
Hundreds of aftershocks have rattled Ecuador since the Saturday night – April 16 – quake.
On Sunday, Ecuadoran President, Rafael Correa, said in Quinto, that the quake has caused $3 billion in damage and warned that the reconstruction effort will take years. His administration is temporarily raising taxes to fund the recovery.
Mr. Correa also said 29 foreigners have been identified among the dead, including 10 Colombians, two Britons, an Irishman, an Italian, a Frenchman and a German.
The president, who complained about the delivery of clean drinking water around the affected region, stated that France had announced that it would send some 30 soldiers and a water purification system to the country.