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Ecuador earthquake toll rises to 553

Apr 21. 2016
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Ecuador - The earthquake death toll in Ecuador rose to 553 people Wednesday, with more than 7,000 injured and 163 still unaccounted for, the country's public prosecutor's office said.

Disaster workers were struggling to distribute potable water amid widespread destruction caused by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which struck Ecuador's north-west coast Saturday evening, the emergency management agency SNGR said.

Two strong aftershocks shook the country Wednesday morning. The quakes of 6.1 and 6.3 magnitude on the Richter scale were the most powerful of more than 400 aftershocks that have hit Ecuador since Saturday.

More than 23,500 people have fled their homes for shelters, SNGR said. Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa estimated the damage at 3 billion dollars.

- DPA

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