A group of 112 rescuers, men and women, departed Mexico on Monday to Ecuador to assist in rescue efforts after the earthquake that occurred in the South American country, the national coordinator of Civil Protection, Luis Felipe Puente reported.
In the Twitter account @LUISFELIPE_P, the official of the Interior Ministry announced that by instructions of President Enrique Peña Nieto, rescuers left the Mexico City International Airport bound for Ecuador.
Before departure, actions were coordinated among agencies involved in the Mexican mission, and will be transporting technical equipment for search and rescue missions they will conduct in Ecuador.
[divider style=”solid” top=”20″ bottom=”20″]Mexico pledges aid to Ecuador[divider style=”solid” top=”20″ bottom=”20″]
The rescuers are members of the secretariats of National Defense (Sedena), Navy (Semar), Health (SSA), Federal Police (PF), Red Cross and Civil Protection of the Interior and State of Jalisco.
Ecuador’s earthquake death toll rose to 350 on Monday as traumatized survivors rested amid the rubble of their homes and rescuers dug for survivors in the Andean nation’s shattered coastal region.
More than 2,000 were also injured in Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude quake, which ripped apart buildings and roads and knocked out power along the Pacific coastline.
Giving the new tally of fatalities from Portoviejo town inside the disaster zone, President Rafael Correa told Reuters he feared the number would rise even further.
“Reconstruction will cost billions of dollars,” he added.
The normally upbeat socialist president looked deeply moved as he chatted with victims during a tour of the shattered town in the South American OPEC nation, which was already suffering from the global slump in crude oil prices.
[divider style=”solid” top=”20″ bottom=”20″]Powerful 7.8 earthquake hits Ecuador coast[divider style=”solid” top=”20″ bottom=”20″]
Further north, in the beach locality of Pedernales, survivors curled up on mattresses or plastic chairs next to flattened homes. Soldiers and police patrolled the hot, dark streets overnight while pockets of rescue workers plowed on.
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At one point, firefighters entered a partially destroyed house to search for three children and a man apparently trapped inside, as a crowd of 40 gathered in the darkness to watch.
“My little cousins are inside. Before, there were noises, screams. We must find them,” pleaded Isaac, 18, as the firemen combed the debris.
Tents sprang up in the town’s still-intact stadium to store bodies, treat the injured, and distribute water, food, and blankets. Survivors wandered around with bruised limbs and bandaged cuts, while those with more serious injuries were evacuated to hospitals.