QUITO – The Simon Bolivar Humanitarian Task Force of Venezuela, which is in Ecuador supporting the rescue of earthquake victims, found alive an elderly man in a collapsed building in the town of Jaramijo, according to the Venezuela Embassy in Quito.
Manuel Vasquez, 72, was found seriously wounded in the room of a structure whose walls had collapsed in the town of Jaramijo, in the northern coastal province of Manabi, the hardest hit by the earthquake that occurred on April 16.
The rescue operation took place on Friday, 13 days after the powerful magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador’s northern region, the embassy said in a statement.
A mission of the Venezuelan task force, during a tour of the town, heard sounds coming from the partially collapsed structure, so the team decided to search using special techniques and equipment.
At the time of the rescue, Vasquez had “chronic renal failure, urinary tract obstruction, amputation of the fingers of his left foot and necrosis in both ankles, in addition to dehydration, malnutrition and disorientation,” reported the mission in a report.
He was taken to a hospital in Jaramijo, where he is currently being treated.
The Task Force Simon Bolivar has been in Ecuador since the day after the earthquake and has collaborated with the Ecuadorian authorities in rescue and assistance operations.
A final report of the Secretariat of Risk Management of Ecuador notes that, following the earthquake, 660 people have died, 113 have been rescued alive, 32 were missing, 51,376 have received medical assistance (of which 4,605 people were wounded) and 22,421 have been placed in shelters.