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Published on : Monday, April 18, 2016
Death toll in the Ecuador earthquake that stuck the country on Saturday evening April 16 has soared to 272. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake violently shook the nation; death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers are digging through rubble to find more bodies. At least 2,527 people have been reported injured; the number is expected to grow.
Tourist destinations of Manta, Portoviejo and Pedernales saw maximum devastation. The coastal Manabi Province where 200 people died is the hardest hit according to Ricardo Peñaherrera of Ecuador’s national emergency management office.
Many houses were reduced to rubbles and people were so scared that they thought that the world was coming to its end. People frantically dug with their hands trying to rescue family and friends. Houses collapsed, knocking out power in Guayaquil the most populous city of Ecuador, a bridge collapsed and many people slept on streets.
The biggest problem now is the lack of water and communication. Many highways are already damaged due to severe rains from the El Niño weather phenomenon. Neighboring states of Colombia, Chile, Spain and Mexico have extended support in rescue operations.
Emergency conditions have been declared in six provinces Guayas, Manabi, Santo Domingo, Los Rios, Esmeraldas and Galapagos. Tsunami alert has been lifted and those living close to coastal areas have been asked to return to their homes.
Shoppers in Guayaquil were taken by surprise as things started trembling down shelves. Kitchen utensils dashed down on the floor when earthquake struck.
It is the most severe earthquake said USGS that struck the nation since 1987 when 7.2 magnitude quake killed 1000 people.