Ecuador Internacional

Earthquake Leaves a Trail of Destruction in Ecuador

The New York Times - Maggy Ayala and Kirk Semple 20/04/2016

Photo: The New York Times

Photo: The New York Times

PORTOVIEJO, Ecuador — The rumbling had ended and the rubble had settled, and Manuel Zambrano, 21, took stock of his situation: Somehow, he was alive.

Moments earlier, he had been at his job in a pharmacy on the ground floor of a three-story building. Suddenly, the building began to shake and finally collapsed around him. He found himself trapped in a pocket within the debris.

It was dark. He heard sirens, shouts, crying.

“I thought it was the end,” he recalled, standing near a mound of concrete and plaster that had once been the building. “But I remembered the 33 trapped miners in the mine in Chile, and thought that if they could survive so many days, I could do it, too.”

At least 410 people were reported killed and more than 2,000 were injured in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador this weekend, the biggest to hit the country in decades, leaving a stretch of ruin through provinces bordering the Pacific Coast. The tremors flattened buildings, fractured highways and knocked out electricity to much of the region.

On Monday, residents were still digging through the rubble for survivors and victims, the government was scrambling to find shelter for thousands of people left homeless and rescue crews from around the world had begun arriving in this Andean nation to help.

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