The quake that rocked Ecuador Saturday was bigger than originally calculated, and the most powerful in recent decades. The death toll continues to grow. The government estimates 272 people have died. The US Geological Survey Agency initially stated the earthquake’s strength was 7.4 on the Richter scale, but then corrected it to 7.8. The epicenter is located 19 km in the ground. After the main earthquake, there were at least 135 aftershocks. One of them has a magnitude of 5.6.
Indispensable assistance began arriving Sunday to the devastated area caused by the biggest earthquake that occurred in the past few decades. The death toll continues to increase. Meanwhile, more than 2,000 people were injured, so it is estimated that the number of injured victims will continue to increase.
More than 3,000 food packages and nearly 8,000 beds were distributed to survivors. Neighboring Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia, where earthquakes are also felt to organize humanitarian assistance provided from the air. While the European Union, Spain, Peru and Mexico also promised assistance.
The Most Terrible Since 1979
The epicenter is located about 170 km northwest of the capital Quito. The capital itself did not suffer significant damage, only the walls were cracked and the power lines were cut off. President Rafael Correa, who was on a visit to Italy, immediately returned to his country and declared a national emergency, and encouraged Ecuadorians to remain calm and strong in the face of disaster.
Sadness is great and tragedy is also great, but Ecuador will find a way to get back up. As he said in Portoviejo, the city that was hardest hit by the earthquake. On Monday, he said the death toll would still increase in large numbers.
From the western part of Portoviejo, it was reported that at least 100 inmates escaped from prison after the earthquake occurred. The prison building was reported to be one of the damaged buildings. Thus, stated Minister of Justice Ledy Zuniga via Twitter. He added that 30 had now returned to prison. A number of prisoners surrendered to the authorities, and others were arrested by the police.
Another Coastal City Was Also Rocked By An Earthquake
Other coastal areas were also rocked by earthquakes, and a number of people were reported killed or injured. Mayor Pedernales, Gabriel Alcivar, told the media that many buildings had collapsed, especially hotels where many tourists stayed. “People can hear victims screaming from the wreckage that is happening,” said Agustin Robles, who survived the earthquake. “In a pharmacy, a number of people are trapped, but from the outside, we can’t do anything,” he added.
The government is now warning citizens to prepare for a stronger earthquake in the coming hours and days. Venezuela’s northern coast was rocked by a strong earthquake, where the tremors were reported to be felt up to Trinidad Tobago and the Caribbean Islands. The United States Geological Survey noted, an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale (SR) struck the northern coast of the country on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, at 17.31 local time – or Wednesday morning Western Indonesia Time.
The epicenter was next to the waters east of the city of Carupano at a depth of 123 kilometers (76 miles). Moreover, Colombian Geological Service (Colombian Geological Service) says the earthquake strength is 7.0 SR. The earthquake was also felt up to a distance of more than 600 kilometers from Carupano. Residents panicked and immediately ran outside their homes and dwellings due to heavy shocks.
The tense moment was recorded by a state television station when Diosdado Cabello, one of the strongest politicians in Venezuela, was delivering a speech at a pro-government demonstration. “I never felt an earthquake that was so fast before,” María Ramírez Cabello wrote via her Twitter account. He was a reporter who was in Ciudad Bolívar when the earthquake occurred.
Meanwhile, footage uploaded to social media by other Venezuelan journalist’s shows that fearful residents gather on the streets and many scatter from inside supermarkets. Through posting on his personal Twitter account, Venezuela’s Interior Minister, Nestor Luis Reverol, said, “We call on all Venezuelans to remain calm. The authorities are ready to handle this emergency.”
Whereas in a short speech, Reverol explained and confirmed the earthquake. “We want to inform you … that at 17.31, Venezuela was hit by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that was felt in various states, including Nueva Esparta, Sucre, Monagas, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro, Aragua, Carabobo, and Caracas,” call it. “So far there have been no reports of casualties.” Local official media, Telesur, also confirmed Reverol’s report: no one died, injured or the building was badly damaged.