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Ecuador Earthquake Death Toll Rises To 413

Ecuador's government says the death toll from a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the South American country's Pacific coast late on April 16 has risen to at least 413, with several thousand people reported injured.

Authorities said they feared the death toll would rise further because many victims are thought to have been buried beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa called the quake the worst catastrophe the country had experienced in 67 years. After surveying the region by helicopter on April 18, he described the cities of Portoviejo and Manta as very nearly "destroyed."

Teams from Switzerland, Spain, and several Latin American countries have arrived to join the search effort.

Centered about 28 kilometers south of the coastal city of Muisne in a tourist area of fishing ports, the quake was felt strongly in the capital, Quito, about 150 kilometers away.

Electricity and some mobile phone services were knocked out in the capital as the quake sent people fleeing from shaking buildings.

In the country's largest city, Guayaquil, rubble was strewn in the streets from buildings that were cracked or had partially collapsed.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa