Ecuador death toll tops 500, Correa ponders financing
The death toll from Ecuador's weekend earthquake surpassed 500 and rescue efforts ebbed on Wednesday as the traumatized Andean nation braced itself for long and costly rebuilding, Reuters reported.
To help fund the multibillion-dollar reconstruction of homes, roads and buildings in the devastated Pacific coast region, Ecuador will temporarily increase some taxes and may issue new bonds on the international market, a somber President Rafael Correa said.
"It's hard to imagine the magnitude of the tragedy. Every time we visit a place, there are more problems," he said, fresh from touring the disaster zone.
Another quake, of 6.2 magnitude, shook the coast before dawn on Wednesday. It terrified inhabitants and briefly hindered rescuers searching for the dwindling number of survivors from Saturday's bigger 7.8 quake, which killed 525 people, according to a central government tally.
"You can't imagine what a fright it was. 'Not again!' I thought," said Maria Quinones in Pedernales town, which bore the brunt of Saturday's disaster.