A massive earthquake shook the northwestern coast of Ecuador and killed more then 233 people and injuring a thousand more people. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake is the strongest one that had occurred in Ecuador since 1979. The government has declared a state of emergency for the affected zone from Sunday after the earthquake thrashed upon before 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET).
Initially, the President announced death of 77 people in the earthquake and with passage of time the death toll raised to 233. “Thank you to the whole world for solidarity,” President Rafael Correa tweeted on Twitter after announcing the death of 233 in the mayhem. He also added, “Our infinite love to the families of the dead”. The intensity of the quake is so massive that poles and buildings have fallen apart and many areas are without electricity and power.
The epicenter is believed to be Quito, the country’s capital. States of emergency were declared for the provinces of Esmeraldas, Los Rios, Manabi, Santa Elena, Guayas and Santo Domingo. About 10,000 military troops, 3,500 police officers have been sent to the affected areas and $600 million in credit was allotted to the emergency. Home Ministry announced that five helicopters and over 80 buses were ferrying 4,000 police to the quake zone. More then 800 Red Cross volunteers have come to the resuce of the injured people.
“We’re trying to do the most we can, but there’s almost nothing we can do,” said Gabriel Alcivar, mayor of Pedernales. NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center have announced that there is a strong probability for tsunami waves up to 3 feet above tide level to hit some coastal areas of Ecuador. Later the center said the threat had largely passed. Ecuadorians who were initially advised to evacuate coastal areas for safety were later assured to return home. More than 135 aftershocks have occurred out of which few had the intensity of 6.0 magnitude.