QUITO - Rescue teams from Colombia and Ecuador have managed to pull out alive a man trapped under the rubble of the El Gato hotel in the western city of Portoviejo, one of the most hard-hit cities by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the northern coast of Ecuador on Saturday.
Hotel manager Pablo Rafael Cordoba Canizares had been buried under rubble, bricks and cement since Saturday night.
With the help of a relative by phone, Cordoba Canizares was finally located on Monday, explained Captain Carlos Cevallos, of the Rescue Unit of the Transit Commission of Ecuador.
"We had recovered seven bodies before we could locate him, but we never lost hope of finding someone alive," said Cevallos.
Sergeant Edison Morales from the Bogota fire department expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the rescue effort.
"We are happy, this is the best payment we have received from working with our sister community," said the fireman.
Morales added, to cheers and shouts of "Thank you, Colombia", that the motto of his team was to save lives.
The earthquake hit Ecuador's western coast on Saturday with an epicenter in the coastal town of Pedernales, killing at least 413 people and injuring more than 2,000, according to the government.