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ecuador earthquake 2016


Ecuador has declared 8 days of national mourning a week after the devastating earthquake that killed at least 646 people.

In a speech announcing the national mourning, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has said the number of fatalities has risen to 646 and another 130 people were still missing.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck off the Ecuadorean coast on April 16, injuring thousands and destroying many towns.

It was the worst tragedy to hit the South American nation in decades.

“These have been sad days for the homeland. The country is in crisis,” Rafael Correa said on his weekly TV broadcast on April 23.Ecuador earthquake 2016

Rafael Correa praised the 27 countries who sent rescue teams over the past week and said that 113 people had been rescued alive from the rubble.

“This is an amazing figure, which made all this effort worthwhile,” he added.

The president also announced that “in the next few hours” he would sign a decree declaring eight days of national mourning.

“It has been a national tragedy, but we will recover,” he said.

More than 12,000 people were treated over the past week across the country for injuries caused by the earthquake, said Rafael Correa.

Foreign nationals from the Colombia, Cuba, the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the Dominican Republic have been confirmed among the dead.

Major international and aid organizations have sent help.

The cost of rebuilding could be up to $3 billion, President Rafael Correa said during a visit to the worst-affected region.

The World Bank has agreed to lend $150 million to help Ecuador cope with the financial costs of the quake.

The tragedy comes at a time when the oil-producing country is already reeling from the slump in global crude prices.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the Ecuador earthquake had struck at a fairly shallow depth of 12 miles, about 17 miles from Muisne in a sparsely populated area.


The death toll in Ecuador’s most powerful earthquake in decades has risen to about 350, the government has said.

Teams from Switzerland, Spain and several Latin American countries have arrived to join the local search effort.

More than 2,000 people were injured in the quake.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa warned that the death toll was likely to rise, and said there were still people alive under the rubble of collapsed buildings. He said it was the biggest tragedy to hit Ecuador in the past seven decades.

The president visited some of the people affected by the disaster after cutting short a visit to Italy to return to his home country.

“I fear that figure will go up because we keep on removing rubble,” Rafael Correa said in a TV address.

“There are signs of life in the rubble, and that is being prioritized.”

Rafael Correa warned that the quake will cost Ecuador billions of dollars. It comes at a time when the oil-producing country is already reeling from the slump in global crude prices.

Correspondents say that while Ecuador’s energy industry survived the quake mostly intact – the main refinery of Esmeraldas was closed as a precaution – exports of bananas, flowers, cocoa beans and fish could be delayed because of impassable roads and hold-ups at ports.

Foreign Minister Guillaume Long praised those nations which had contributed to the rescue effort.Ecuador earthquake 2016

Guillaume Long tweeted that as many as 120 mobile rescue teams would be on the ground by Tuesday morning.

The magnitude-7.8 quake struck on April 16. Coastal areas in the north-west were closest to the epicenter. There have been about 230 aftershocks across the country.

A state of emergency has been declared and some 10,000 troops and 3,500 police have been deployed in the affected areas.

In Pedernales, close to the epicenter, as many as 400 people are feared dead. Mayor Gabriel Alcivar said the “entire town” had been flattened.

“Pedernales is devastated. Buildings have fallen down, especially hotels where there are lots of tourists staying. There are lots of dead bodies,” he told local media.

“We’re trying to do the most we can but there’s almost nothing we can do,” Gabriel Alcivar added, warning that looting had broken out.

More than 600 people have been treated for injuries at tents in the town’s football stadium, with many others taken by ambulance or helicopter to regional hospitals. The stadium also served as a makeshift morgue, Reuters reported, with at least 90 bodies taken there.

Many residents of the town are due to spend the night sleeping outside on mattresses in muggy and tropical conditions and afraid of more aftershocks.

Firefighters conducted rescue operations in destroyed buildings, demanding silence so they could listen for cries for help.

Meanwhile, queues for essential supplies such as bottled water, blankets and food formed around the stadium’s walls, as residents complained that electricity shortages were preventing them from using mobile phones to contact loved ones.

More than 1,000 policemen are patrolling the streets of Pedernales ahead of an expected visit by the president.

The quake cut power supplies along the coast. With too few emergency shelters, many residents have spent two nights out in the open.

In Portoviejo, where looting was reported, about 400 residents gathered at the city’s former airport to queue for water and other supplies.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake struck at a fairly shallow depth of 11.9 miles, about 16 miles from Muisne in a sparsely populated area.

The quake was also felt in neighboring Colombia.

Scientists say there is no connection between the quake in Ecuador and a severe tremor in southern Japan, which also occurred on April 16.


At least 77 people have been killed and more than 500 injured after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, Vice-President Jorge Glas says.

The tremor struck at 18:58 local time on April 16 near the northern coastal town of Muisne.

Widespread severe damage is reported, with a bridge destroyed as far south as Guayaquil about 190 miles away.

A state of emergency has been declared in six provinces and the National Guard has been mobilized.

The earthquake, Ecuador’s largest since 1979, also shook buildings in the capital, Quito.

President Rafael Correa is cutting short his trip to Italy to return home. He called for calm, saying on Twitter: “Our infinite love to the families of the dead.”

VP Jorge Glas said that at least 77 people had died and 588 had been injured, adding that the figures could rise as a number of affected areas had not yet been reached.Ecuador earthquake 2016

He called for calm, particularly in the city of Portoviejo, amid reports of a “lack of public order”.

Gabriel Alcivar, mayor of the town of Pedernale, which is close to the epicenter, said: “We’re trying to do the most we can but there’s almost nothing we can do.”

He said dozens of buildings had been flattened and looting had broken out.

“This wasn’t just a house that collapsed, it was an entire town,” he added.

Serious damage was also reported in the city of Manta, with an airport tower among the buildings destroyed.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at a fairly shallow depth of 11.9 miles, about 18 miles from Muisne in a sparsely populated area.

There have been a number of aftershocks, the biggest at 5.4.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has now issued a message saying that the threat of a tsunami has now mostly passed and that any remaining risk should be evaluated by local authorities.

However, it earlier said tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to one meter above the tide level were possible for some coasts of Ecuador. Any damage that had occurred might not be visible until daylight.

Parts of the capital were left without electricity for some time.

Reports say a big oil refinery has been temporarily shut as a precautionary measure.

Neighboring Peru had also issued a tsunami alert for its northern coastline.

The quake was felt in Colombia, where patients in a clinic in the city of Cali were evacuated from the building as a precautionary measure.

Ecuador is prone to earthquakes. It is located along the so-called Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped, seismically turbulent area of the Pacific Ocean.