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Ecuador Earthquake Deaths Rise to 602

Volunteers arrange the relief supplies for those affected by the earthquake in a collection center at Mariscal Sucre International Airport, in Tababela, aproximately 20km from the city of Quito, capital of Ecuador.

The death toll for the earthquake which rocked Ecuador on April 16 has reached 602, the Secretariat of Risk Management announced on Friday afternoon.

The latest figure also register 12,492 wounded, 130 missing, 26,091 people in shelters, 113 people rescued alive, 6,998 destroyed buildings, and 2,740 damaged buildings.

The earthquake, which registered 7.8 on the Richter scale, mainly affected the towns along the coast of Manabi province.

Furthermore, the head of the country’s Geophysical Institute, Gabriela Ponce, said that aftershocks up to 6.8 magnitude could be felt in coming days.

Residents walk past a row of collapsed buildings felled by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake after the incident.

Ponce explained that small aftershocks are still being felt around the tourist port of Manta, in Manabi, and up to the northern town of Punta Galera in the province of Esmeraldas.

A fire man works after the earth quake struck off Ecuador on April 16th.

Infrastructure experts have stated that the high death toll is due, in part, to poorly constructed buildings and to the lack of safety awareness among residents.

By Robert Muriisa.

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