Ecuador Earthquake Toll Tops 400
The death toll from Ecuador's worst earthquake in decades has topped 400, as rescue workers continue searching for survivors three days after the 7.8-magnitude quake hit the South American country's northwest coast. The government put the death toll at 413 late Monday, including six foreign nationals. The total number of wounded has risen to 2,068. President Rafael Correa said he expected the toll to rise further.
"Rescue and Solidarity," read the Tuesday front-page headline of Cuenca-based daily El Mercurio.
The hardest-hit area was the coastal Manabi Province where some 200 people died. The Ecuadorian government has declared a state of emergency in the worst-hit provinces.
More than 1,000 specialized search and rescue personnel and firefighters from other Latin American countries have been deployed to the devastated towns of Portoviejo, Manta, Pedernales and Jama. Rescue and recovery aid has come in from Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Cuba and Mexico. In addition, Cuba has deployed 60 doctors to Portoviejo, Manta and Chone where the army has installed mobile hospitals.