Quito, June 17 (IANS) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced that the government has renewed a state of emergency which was declared following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 16 for another 30 days.
The president renewed the measure on Thursday through an executive decree in the states of Esmeraldas, Manabi, Santa Elena, Los Rios, Guayas and Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Xinhua news agency reported.
The state of emergency was declared after the devastating earthquake left 668 people dead and over 80,000 displaced.
The decree grants emergency powers to authorities, especially the army and police, to coordinate efforts in preventing risks and improving the conditions caused by the killer quake.
The decree also allows the army to enter any home and evacuate people as they see fit, since “certain citizens are seeking to return to their homes in buildings that are seen at present a risk to their lives.”
Such measures may only be taken in extreme situations although the Ministry of Finance has unblocked funds to help the army and police manage the debris and reconstruction, and help the displaced people.
According to the National Secretariat for Planning and Development, the reconstruction of Manabi and Esmeraldas, the worst-hit states, will cost over $3 billion.