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Ecuador quake death toll rises to nearly 650

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Ecuador earthquake: Death toll soars
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The death toll from Ecuador’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake last week has risen to 646 people, President Rafael Correa said during a TV broadcast on Saturday. Last Saturday’s quake, the worst in nearly seven decades, injured around 12,500 people and left 130 missing along the country’s ravaged Pacific coast. 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 26,000 people were living in shelters. Some 14,000 security personnel were keeping order in quake-hit areas, with only sporadic looting reported.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

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