Death toll up to 350 in Ecuador

Posted at 2:59 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 14:59:02-04

PORTOVIEJO, Ecuador (AP) — Rescuers and aid from all over the world are flooding into Ecuador as survivors start a second day in towns flattened by Saturday’s earthquake, and the search for people trapped beneath the rubble continues.

Ecuador’s security minister says the death toll has risen to 350. Cesar Navas tells the Teleamazonas station that rescuers are continuing to seek more victims and survivors in collapsed buildings after the magnitude-7.8 quake.

Ecuador’s Foreign Affairs Minister Guillaume Long says hundreds of international aid workers are already in place. Mexico has sent 120 helpers, Spain sent 80 rescue experts and Chile sent 49 firefighters. Missions have also arrived from Peru, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Switzerland.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will help in any way possible.

International aid groups have dispatched doctors and psychologists, and dogs trained to search for survivors. Workers are also setting up plants to clean drinking water.