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Strong Quake Strikes Ecuador Again

Strong Quake Strikes Ecuador AgainStrong Quake Strikes Ecuador Again

A powerful earthquake measuring 6.0 Richter struck off Ecuador’s disaster-stricken coast on Thursday, as survivors of an earlier deadly quake that killed 587 people clamored for food, water and medicine in parts of the disaster zone.

The latest quake hit about 100 km north-northwest of Portoviejo and at a depth of 10 km, said the US Geological Survey. There were no immediate reports of damage and there was no tsunami warning, Reuters reported.

Saturday’s deadly quake was a massive 7.8 magnitude.

“We’re trying to survive. We need food,” said Galo Garcia, a 65-year-old lawyer as he waited in line for water from a truck in beachside village of San Jacinto. “There’s nothing in the shops. We’re eating the vegetables we grow.”

Correa’s socialist government, facing a mammoth rebuilding task at a time of greatly reduced oil revenues in the OPEC nation, said there was no lack of supplies, but only problems with distribution that should be quickly resolved.

The government quickly moved supplies to the main towns and set up shelters for more than 25,000 people in soccer stadiums and airports, but shattered roads have impeded the operation.

On streets near Pedernales, one of the worst-hit towns, children from rural areas held signs begging for food.  

“All of us here have been marginalized. The others are receiving things, but we’re not,” said Darwin Gachila, 33, as he cradled his baby daughter, flanked by his wife and two other children in the small village of Cojimies.

Interior Minister Jose Serrano, speaking from an aid convoy nearby, stressed that the government was focusing on house-by-house distribution to ensure no one was overlooked.

Correa has said Ecuador would temporarily increase some taxes, offer assets for sale and possibly issue bonds abroad to fund reconstruction after Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude quake. He has estimated damage at $2 billion to $3 billion.

A raft of temporary tax increases should raise between $650 million and $1 billion, the government said on Thursday, stressing that those in areas hit by the quake would be exempt.

The 487-megawatt hydroelectric dam Sopladora, which is still in an experimental phase, could be one of the assets put on sale, Correa said.

Financialtribune.com