Ecuador earthquake death toll reaches 272, likely to rise

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has warned that the death toll from a powerful earthquake which has killed more than 250 people is likely to rise, the BBC reports.

But he also said there was evidence that people were still alive under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Mr Correa has visited some of the people affected after cutting short a visit to Rome.

At least 272 people are confirmed dead and more than 1,500 hurt by the quake, Ecuador’s most powerful in decades.

A state of emergency has been declared and some 10,000 troops and 3,500 police have been deployed in the affected areas, with an emphasis on finding survivors.

The magnitude-7.8 quake struck on Saturday evening. Coastal areas in the north-west were closest to the epicentre.

The quake is Ecuador’s largest since 1979. More than 130 aftershocks have followed.

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