Quito, April 18: Death toll in the Saturday's powerful earthquake in Ecuador has risen to 262. More than 2,500 people are reported injured. The latest figures were given by the country’s Vice Interior Minister Diego Fuentes.
The death toll from the powerful earthquake that shook coastal Ecuador has risen to 262. Vice Minister Diego Fuentes gave the latest number to reporters Sunday night as search teams continued to pick at rubble looking for survivors and victims.
Earlier, Vice President Jorge Glas said more than 2,500 people were injured in Saturday night's earthquake. Glas says there is a long list of missing people that authorities are looking for but he has declined to disclose the number. He says only that the number of casualties is expected to go up more.
Initial reports indicate heavy damage in the coastal city of Manta. Rescue crews struggled to get to sparsely populated fishing ports and tourist beaches. The city of Pedernales, home to more than 40,000 people in Manabí Province, is destroyed.
Some 10,000 troops and 3,500 police have been deployed in the affected areas, as rescue operations continue. Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has cut short a visit to Italy to deal with the crisis. He has declared a state of emergency and said the priority is finding survivors.
Helicopters and buses are ferrying troops north but have been hampered by landslides. Food and other essentials has been handed out and international aid is also beginning to arrive.
The 7.8 magnitude quake struck South American country of Ecuador on Saturday evening. Coastal areas in the north-west were closest to the epicentre. Officials say, the death toll is likely to rise as information begins to come in.