The death toll from Saturday’s earthquake in northern Ecuador has climbed to 525 by Wednesday morning, and the figure might continue to rise significantly, Ecuador’s government said.
According to the country’s Interior Ministry, over 4,000 people have been injured in the earthquake, with 231 more still missing.
A fresh tremor of 6.1 magnitude struck off the devastated beach town of Muisne before dawn on Wednesday, which further rattled the coast region of Ecuador.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the tremor was centered offshore, 15 miles (24 km) west of Muisne, at 3:33 a.m. local time (0833 GMT).
Authorities in the capital city of Quito called the latest quake an aftershock. There was no immediate report of further damage or casualties, and no tsunami warning was issued.
A preliminary count showed that 20,503 people remained in shelters, while 805 buildings were completely destroyed and 608 more damaged.
Public services were progressively being restored in the affected areas.
International rescue teams and aid are flooding into Ecuador. The Red Cross Society of China has provided 100,000 U.S. dollars in cash for emergency assistance, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.
The Chinese government is speedily working on a humanitarian assistance plan and will provide satellite pictures to Ecuador for relief efforts, said the spokesperson.