Sunday, April 24, 2016

MONUMENTAL DISASTER IMPACT: Drone Footage Reveals Scale Of Destruction By Ecuador Mega-Quake - Death Toll SURPASSES 650; Injuring 16,600 People With 58 Still Missing; 7,000 Buildings DESTROYED!

 A collapsed building is seen in Pedernales, after an earthquake struck off Ecuador's Pacific coast, April 22, 2016. Reuters/Guillermo Granja

April 24, 2016 - ECUADOR - Hovering over collapsed buildings and piles of debris, a drone has captured a scary panorama of the Ecuadorian city of Manta struck by the country’s latest deadly earthquake.

The drone flies around what seems to be a badly damaged block of flats, and then a hotel with broken windows, and curtains blown into the empty rooms by the wind.

There is a skewed building of a hotel that is almost collapsing, with very few people or cars in the empty streets.

The death toll from Ecuador's devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake last week has risen to 654 people, the country's emergency management authority said on Saturday.

Last Saturday's quake, the worst in nearly seven decades, injured around 16,600 people and left 58 missing along the country's ravaged Pacific coast. One hundred and thirteen people were rescued from damaged buildings.

"These have been sad days for the homeland," President Rafael Correa said during his weekly television broadcast earlier on Saturday. "The country is in crisis."


The aftershocks have been striking almost daily, with the latest a 5.8-magnitude tremor that hit in the early hours of Saturday and 6.0 tremor that hit Friday.
RT Ruptly

Residents receive food from volunteers at the Reales Tamarindos airport which is used as a shelter. Reuters/Henry Romero

A girl is pictured next to a line of clothes hung out to dry outside a tent at the Reales Tamarindos airport which is used as a shelter. Reuters/Henry Romero

A resident is pictured as clothes are hung out to dry outside a tent at the Reales Tamarindos airport which is used as a shelter. Reuters/Henry Romero

A resident rests outside his damaged home in Portoviejo, after an earthquake struck off Ecuador's Pacific coast, April 22, 2016. Reuters/Henry Romero

Several strong tremors and more than 700 aftershocks have continued to shake the country since the major quake, sparking momentary panic but little additional damage. Tremors are expected to continue for several weeks.

With close to 7,000 buildings destroyed, more than 25,000 people were living in shelters. Some 14,000 security personnel were keeping order in quake-hit areas, with only sporadic looting reported.

Survivors in the quake zone were receiving food, water and medicine from the government and scores of foreign aid workers, although Correa has acknowledged that bad roads delayed aid reaching some communities.


WATCH:  Drone footage reveals scale of destruction by Ecuador quake.




Correa's leftist government, facing mammoth rebuilding at a time of greatly reduced oil revenues for the OPEC country, has said it would temporarily increase some taxes, offer assets for sale and possibly issue bonds abroad to fund reconstruction. Congress will begin debate on the tax proposal on Tuesday.

Correa has estimated damage at $2 billion to $3 billion. Lower oil revenue has already left the country of 16 million people facing near-zero growth and lower investment.

The country's private banking association said on Saturday its member banks would defer payments on credit cards, loans and mortgages for clients in the quake zone for three months, to help reconstruction efforts.


- RT | Reuters.




 

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