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Aid and rescue surge in Ecuador as quake’s death toll edges to 600

More relief goods were rushed to the survivors, while rescuers stuck to any chance to bring victims back to life on April 20 in Ecuador’s coastal city Portoviejo.

(Soundbite) Enrique Hurtado, Firefighter
“We have a technique to spot calling for help, where every rescuer remains silent and try to catch a whining or cry. Through experience and collaboration, we locate victims and then proceed to do all the works needed to save their lives.”

Salvation assignments peaked within and into the city, after the magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador on April 16 and the death toll is approaching 600 five days later nationwide.

(Soundbite) Truck Driver
“What we have on the truck is food for basic needs, such as water and canned tuna, to help those traumatized by the earthquake. Some locations were covered with aid, while others not. We are trying to reach all the victims with our help, because Ecuador is united.”

Facing the strongest quake in decades, the Ecuadorean government is mulling a massive reconstruction plan costing 2 to 3 billion U.S. dollars and has decided to raise various taxes to patch up the budget.

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