(Vatican Radio) Search and rescue teams are continuing to hunt for survivors after a devastating earthquake in Ecuador. Those who did survive sought shelter beside the rubble of their collapsed homes.
The 7.8 magnitude quake struck off the Pacific coast on Saturday killing at least 272 people and injuring over 2 thousand others. There are fears the death toll will rise further.
The President of Ecuador Rafael Correa cut short a visit to Italy return to the country saying in a televised address, “this is the greatest tragedy in the last 67 years".
Coastal areas nearest the epicenter were hit hardest, especially Pedernales, a tourist spot with beaches.
Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Lydia O’Kane’s spokesperson for the International Federation for the Red Cross, Benoit Carpentier said they have teams on the ground responding to the disaster.
“We have the Ecuadorian Red Cross who is present in the country… there are about 800 volunteers that have been mobilized to respond to the emergency.”
He also said health teams and hospital units had been mobilized and a Disaster Response team has been deployed to carry out an assessment of the humanitarian needs following the quake.
There have been a serious of aftershocks since the earthquake struck which was also felt in Columbia.