Ecuador: Fresh Tremors Felt as Previous Death Toll Reaches 525
Two strong tremors of about 30 seconds each were felt down the coast of Ecuador in the zone weakened from Earthquake
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador on Wednesday, just days after a major quake hit the country. The latest quake was centred 70 km off the Pacific coast town of Esmeraldas at a depth of 10 km, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, which is not far from the epicenter of Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude quake.
The death toll from previous earthquake has risen up to 525. With over 200 people missing, officials are expecting the death toll to rise further.
Two Fresh Tremors Strike
Two strong tremors of about 30 seconds each were felt in Cojimies, down the coast in the disaster zone from the weekend earthquake, waking people up and sending them into the street. It was not felt in the highland capital of Quito.
Ecuador‘s Geophysical Institute said a 6.2 magnitude earthquake at 3:33 am local time was followed by a series of aftershocks. There was no tsunami warning.
Saturday’s quake, Ecuador‘s worst in decades, destroyed or damaged about 1,500 buildings, triggered mudslides. It left some 20,500 people sleeping in shelters, according to the government. The quake is seen as a major blow to the South American OPEC country’s already fragile economy.
Some 20,500 people were left sleeping in shelters.
Supervising rescue work in the disaster zone, President Rafael Correa said the weekend quake inflicted $2 billion to $3 billion of damage to the oil-dependent economy and could knock 2 to 3 percentage points off growth. In isolated villages and towns, survivors struggled without water, power or transport, although aid was trickling in.
Relatives Plead for Victims’ Mortal Remains
A woman from the highland capital Quito who was searching for her daughter and niece had urged police to take care with excavators as they searched a destroyed hotel in Pedernales.
“Please, at least give us the corpses intact”, she pleaded.
Many foreign aid workers and experts have come to help. About 14,000 security force members are keeping order, but sporadic looting has been reported. Rescuers were losing hope of finding more people alive, although relatives of the missing begged them to keep looking.
There is still a small margin of time to find survivors. But I don’t want to give excessive hope.Rafael Correa, President, Ecuador
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