Number of dead in Ecuador earthquake likely to rise to 500: UN

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A collapsed roadway following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the coast of Ecuador on 16 April 2016. Photo: WFP

Four hundred and eighty people have died in the Ecuador earthquake and the number is likely to rise to 500, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs has confirmed.

Hundreds are still missing and more than 21,000 are in need of immediate shelter, Stephen O'Brien said.

He spoke on the line from Kanoo, a few miles from the epicentre of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck on Saturday.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

Many people are sleeping outside, queuing for food and there is a real need for drinking water, according to Stephen O'Brien, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

He said the UN was in support of the Ecuador government's plans and actions to meet the needs of their people.

"I will also be wanting to allocate a sum from the Central Emergency Response Fund in order to complement and make available the necessary extra resources to fill the gaps and support the government's programmes for meeting the needs of the people on starting the early recovery."

A UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team has been deployed and is facilitating quick assessments on the immediate life-saving needs of the people.

Duration: 46”

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