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Ecuador Declares National Mourning as Quake Death Toll Surpasses 650

Quito, April 25 (RHC-Xinhua) -- The Ecuadorian government has declared eight days of national mourning as the death toll from the massive earthquake that hit the South American country a week ago rose to more than 650.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, noting that 113 people have been pulled out alive, expressed his gratitude to the more than two dozen countries that have dispatched rescue teams to his country over the past week.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the April 16 tremor, the deadliest to strike the country in 70 years, continued to rise.

An official evaluation of 10 cities in Manabi, the province that took the brunt of the tremor, showed that 1 million people were affected.

The total cost, according to government officials, is expected to be known in six weeks after international organizations complete their technical assessments.

Edited by Ed Newman
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