An earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit Ecuador on Saturday evening. The country’s risk management office said that over 654 people had lost their lives till now. It is said that the death toll may increase as many have been stuck inside the buildings. Around 58 people are found missing since April 16, and 12,492 people were injured. The Government has provided shelters for 26,091 people. An aftershock was also experienced with a magnitude of 6.1 which struck the coast of Ecuador.
Three cities of Ecuador Manta, Portovieja, and Pedernales was the worst affected by the quake. Ecuadorian President Rafael has announced several financial measures so that the government gets fund for the reconstruction of buildings. He also said that rebuilding affected areas is a tough task as it may take several years for its completion. The Government has decided to increase the sales tax for one year and sell their properties so that they can get money for the reconstruction purpose.
Defence Minister Ricardo Patino said that “The country is facing an awkward phase right now.” The rescue team is recovering bodies from the debris. He also added that it would take several years for the country to recover from the aftereffects of the quake.
The tourist areas in Pedernales were badly affected by the tremor. A restaurant and a five-story hotel were destroyed. Rescuers are doing their best to find people stuck inside the buildings. One of the survivors told CNN’s Gustavo Valdes that the quake was too hard that they all fell and they could not get up. The victims are left clueless as what they can do next for their living.
The Government of Ecuador is sending officials to every house looking for survivors and victims’. Over 10,000 soldiers and 4600 police officers are deployed for the rescue operation. Rescuers from other countries have reached Ecuador to help in the rescue operations of the Government.