QUITO – The death toll from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck Ecuador last week, lashing the northern coast, has risen to 654 people, according to the National Secretariat for Risk Management.
The emergency management authority said on its website on Saturday that the earthquake, which struck on April 16, has left 16,601 people injured, while 58 people are still missing.
A total of 113 people have been rescued alive from the rubble of buildings that collapsed as a result of one of the worst earthquakes in the country’s history.
As of Saturday afternoon, 788 aftershocks had been recorded.
The secretariat noted that 6,998 buildings have been reported destroyed and 2,740 damaged.
A state of emergency has been declared in the provinces of Esmeraldas, Los Rios, Manabi, Santa Elena, Guayas, Tsachilas and Santo Domingo, along with a state of exception nationwide.
More than 20 countries have sent humanitarian aid in the wake of the quake, including more than 1,000 specialists in the work of rescuing victims and caring for those who are injured, left homeless or harmed in any way.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on Saturday thanked the public for the solidarity shown following the disaster, as well as state institutions and the international community for their support.