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Ecuador quake death toll hits 413

View of rubble after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 235 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN CEVALLOS

View of rubble after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 17, 2016.<br />At least 235 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN CEVALLOS

About 413 people are now known to have died in the earthquake that struck Ecuador, the country’s government says.

The 7.8-magnitude quake struck Ecuador’s Pacific coast on Saturday, and the search for survivors continues.

The cost of rebuilding is likely to be in the billions of dollars, President Rafael Correa said during a visit to the worst-affected region.

He said it was the biggest tragedy to hit Ecuador in the past seven decades. Some 2,500 people were injured.

Late on Monday, six people, including two girls – one three years old and the other nine months old – were rescued from the ruins of a hotel near the coastal town of Manta.

Elsewhere, funerals for some of those killed were held in Portoviejo and Pedernales, two towns that were the worst hit.

“I fear that figure will go up because we keep on removing rubble,” a shaken Mr. Correa said in a televised address. “There are signs of life in the rubble, and that is being prioritised.”



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