413 People Confirmed Dead in Ecuador

413 People Confirmed Dead in Ecuador413 People Confirmed Dead in Ecuador

At least 413 people are now known to have died in the earthquake that struck Ecuador, the country’s government says.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck Ecuador’s Pacific coast on Saturday and the search for survivors continues.

“The cost of rebuilding is likely to be in the billions of dollars,” President Rafael Correa said during a visit to the worst-affected region, BBC reported.

He said it was the biggest tragedy to hit Ecuador in the past seven decades. Some 2,500 people were injured.

Late on Monday, six people, including two girls—one three years old and the other nine months old—were rescued from the ruins of a hotel near the coastal town of Manta.

Elsewhere, funerals for some of those killed were held in Portoviejo and Pedernales, two towns that were badly hit.

“I fear that figure will go up because we keep on removing rubble,” a shaken Correa said in a televised address. “There are signs of life in the rubble and that is being prioritized.”

Luis Almagro, secretary-general of the Organization of American States, said some of the group’s rarely-used emergency funds would be unlocked and given to Ecuador to help it rebuild.

Ecuador’s Finance Ministry also announced on Monday it would receive $2 billion from China Development Bank, but it was unclear whether the money is directly intended for rebuilding after the quake.