Ecuador says death toll from quake jumps to 413

Ecuador says death toll from quake jumps to 413

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Portoviejo, Apr 19 (AP) – Ecuador’s government says the death toll from the weekend’s powerful earthquake has climbed to 413.
The increase came in the government’s latest bulletin on casualties from the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake that hit the country’s Pacific coastline. About 2,500 people are listed as injured.The U.N. humanitarian chief is going to Ecuador to see the impact of the earthquake and mobilize financial support from donors.
The U.N. humanitarian office says Stephen O’Brien is to fly there Monday night and is expected to meet with people in affected communities as well as senior officials, emergency responders and humanitarian organizations.
O’Brien is also the U.N. emergency relief coordinator and has already sent a disaster and assessment coordination team to Ecuador.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric says UNICEF has delivered 20,000 water purification tablets to Pedernales, which is in an area of heavy damage. And the U.N. refugee agency said Monday that it is preparing for a major aid airlift to help people displaced by the quake, in response to a request for U.N. help from Ecuador’s government.
At least one American is among the 350 confirmed dead from Ecuador’s powerful earthquake.
State Department spokesman John Kirby hasn’t identified the dead American, but says U.S. officials have been in touch with the victim’s family.
Kirby says the U.S. will continue to work with Ecuadorean authorities to verify the welfare and whereabouts of all U.S. citizens.
The area of pristine beaches hardest hit by the quake is popular with American tourists and ex-pats.
Earlier, Canada said two of its citizens were killed.
A relative is confirming that two members of a Quebec family were among those killed during a massive earthquake in Ecuador over the weekend.
Guy Laflamme tells Montreal radio station 98.5 FM that his nephew’s wife, Jennifer Mawn, and their son, Arthur Laflamme, were among the hundreds reported dead after the roof of a residence collapsed on them.
Laflamme says his nephew, Pascal Laflamme, and his family had moved to Ecuador recently.
He said Monday Pascal had been chatting on FaceTime with his father in Quebec when the magnitude-7.8 earthquake hit Saturday night.
He said “Pascal shouted, ‘get out! get out!’ and all communication was cut off.”
Mawn was a neuropsychiatrist who founded a clinic working with children and teens in Longueuil, south of Montreal.
Rescuers and aid from all over the world are flooding into Ecuador as survivors start a second day in towns flattened by the quake, and the search for people trapped beneath the rubble continues. – AP/UNB

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