The death toll for a major earthquake, measuring magnitude 7.8, has risen to 233 people, President Rafael Correa said in a statement.
President Rafael Correa has announced that the death toll for a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake, which struck the South American country on Saturday evening, has risen to 233 people.
The death toll had previously been recorded at 77 people. At least 500 people were also injured in the quake, which was felt across the country.
Some 10,000 troops and 3,500 police are being deployed in the affected areas.
Coastal areas in the north-west were closest to the epicentre. Gabriel Alcivar, mayor of Pedernales, close to the epicentre, said the “entire town” had been flattened.
Correa, who is flying back from a trip to Italy, has decreed a state of emergency, calling on his country to be “calm and united”.
Officials say the death toll is still likely to rise, as rescue efforts continue.