Death Toll Jumps To 413 After Ecuador Earthquake, But Rescuers Continue Finding Survivors

Three days after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit northern Ecuador, rescuers are rushing to save more people and pets stuck under the rubble.

At least 413 people have been confirmed dead and the death toll continues to rise, but rescuers are finding survivors, like a 35-year-old man who called his mom with his cell phone while under the rubble of a hotel.

Manta, Portoviejo and Pedernales were hit hard, but the province of Manabi remains the most affected declaring 200 fatalities. “It was something very ugly. We thought it was the end of the world,” a survivor told CNN.  “It started hard, way too hard. We fell. We couldn’t get up. It was too strong…If it had fallen the other way, we would have died.”

Credit: @gustavoescobarg / Twitter

Although 10,000 soldiers and 4,600 police officers have been deployed to the affected areas, damage from heavy rain in previous days is making it hard for anyone to get to those cities. “The lack of water and communication remains a big problem,” said Ricardo Peñaherrera from Ecuador’s national emergency management office. “Many highways are in bad shape, especially in the mountainous area, because it has been raining recently due to (the) El Niño weather phenomenon.”

Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Spain and Chile have sent aid and rescuers and the European Union released a €1 million in humanitarian aid. The United Nations is  also preparing an aid airlift.

Credit: @lucho_telesur / Twitter

“I have infinite gratitude to the spirit of the Ecuadorian people, of our firefighters, our soldiers, our policemen and all workers who haven’t slept, haven’t eaten as they work hard to save lives,” said President Rafael Correa after arriving home, cutting short his trip to Vatican city.

Get more details on the Ecuador Earthquake here.

READ: To Pay Off Billions In Debt, Ecuador Is Going To Extremes

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