Devastating Earthquake in Ecuador: Over 350 Dead and Many Buried Under Rubble
Kanako Itamae and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
The brutal 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador is now known to have killed over 350 people. This figure will most likely rise because many people are still missing and reports stress that people remain buried by rubble. Therefore, it is a race against time for search and rescue workers.
Local family members and friends are also joining in with rescue operations because they know that every second counts. Not surprisingly, scenes show frantic people who are still in shock but who equally know that they must support each other in these trying times.
The BBC says, “More than 2,000 people were injured in the quake, Ecuador’s most powerful in decades, which hit its Pacific coast.”
International teams within South America and further afield from Spain and Switzerland are all helping people caught up in the devastating earthquake. At the same time, local networks and central forces are trying earnestly to alleviate the situation. Despite this, the clock is ticking and sadly the death toll will likely rise because of the magnitude of the earthquake.
President Rafael Correa warned that many people are clinging onto life under the huge amount of rubble. The leader of Ecuador also stressed that the earthquake is the single most devastating tragedy to have hit this nation for a very long time.
Currently, approximately 10,000 military troops and sizeable numbers of police officers are assisting areas hit by the earthquake. Given the severity of the crisis, then a state of emergency was declared by the central government.
The local Mayor of Pedernales, Gabriel Alcivar, comments, “Pedernales is devastated. Buildings have fallen down, especially hotels where there are lots of tourists staying. There are lots of dead bodies,” he told local media.”
Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times says “Sadly, with so many people still missing and buried by rubble then the death toll will continue to rise. Therefore, it is imperative that the international community does more to support Ecuador.”
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