UN reports quake toll hits 660 in Ecuador

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United Nations, May 7 (IANS) At the start of the third week of response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador, the UN humanitarian aid wing said the toll has risen to 660.

The latest toll came as the Andean country’s call for $72.7 million in financial assistance has received little support, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Friday, urging donors to contribute to the projects that benefit the affected people.

OCHA said 23 people were still missing, nearly 7,000 buildings were destroyed, and 560 schools were affected, with 166 of them suffering medium to severe damage.

Health assistance has been provided to 513,762 people, including 4,605 injured during the first 72 hours of the emergency, and the number of people in shelters has decreased to 22,754.

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Humanitarian aid continues to reach affected zones, mainly urban centres and shelters.

Two missions deployed during the past weekend to Portoviejo and Pedernales, the areas hit hard. A multi-sector initial rapid assessment (MIRA) and assessments by individual sectors were under way.

The government of Ecuador recently announced the replacement of top officials in the Secretariat for Risk Management (SGR), the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Secretary of Water (SENAGUA), the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES).



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