South America

Colombia sends search and rescue workers and aid for quake

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos bid farewell on Sunday (April 17) to 65 search and rescue experts heading to Ecuador where Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake left at least 246 dead and has caused aftershocks so strong that one caused the evacuation of a hospital in neighbouring Colombia. The 7.8 magnitude quake struck off the Pacific coast on Saturday and was felt around the Andean nation of 16 million people, causing panic as […]

Victims of Ecuador’s earthquake beg vice-president for help

PORTOVIEJO, MANABI, Ecuador (Reuters) – As the death toll from Ecuador’s biggest earthquake in decades soared to at least 246 on Sunday (April 17), desperate victims begged Vice President Jorge Glass to help find their missing relatives as rescuers using tractors and bare hands hunted desperately for survivors in shattered coastal towns. The 7.8 magnitude quake struck off the Pacific coast on Saturday and was felt around the Andean nation of 16 million people, causing […]

UPDATE: Ecuador quake toll rises to 233 dead: president

QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — At least 233 people have been killed in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador’s Pacific coast, President Rafael Correa said Sunday. “The official figure of the number killed has risen to 233,” Correa said on his Twitter account. Officials had previously put the toll of Saturday’s quake at 77 dead and nearly 600 injured. The quake, which struck at 2358 GMT Saturday about 170 kilometers northwest of Quito, lasted about a […]

Powerful Ecuador quake kills at least 77

by Paola Lopez QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — At least 77 people were killed when a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities in the Latin American country said Sunday. Vice President Jorge Glas said the death toll will likely rise further in what he called the “worst seismic movement we have faced in decades.” The quake, which struck at 2358 GMT Saturday about 170 […]

UPDATE: Big Ecuador quake kills at least 41

by Paola Lopez QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — At least 41 people were killed when a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and sending terrified residents dashing from their homes, authorities said late Saturday. “Oh, my God, it was the biggest and strongest earthquake I have felt in my whole life. It lasted a long time, and I was feeling dizzy,” said Maria Torres, 60, in the capital Quito, where people fled their homes during Saturday […]

Ecuadorean Vice President reports deaths, damage following earthquake; at least 28 killed

(REUTERS) — At least 28 people died in Ecuador when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the country’s northwest Pacific coast late on Saturday (April 16), causing “considerable damage” near the epicenter as well as in the largest city of Guayaquil. The Andean nation’s government recommended residents leave coastal areas over concern for rising tides following the quake. Alarmed residents streamed into the streets of the capital Quito, hundreds of kilometers (miles) away, and other towns […]

Updated: Powerful 7.8 earthquake rocks Ecuador: USGS

QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador Saturday, the US Geological Survey reported, with the tremor strongly felt in the capital Quito as a tsumani warning was also issued for local coasts. “Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 kilometers of the earthquake epicenter,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. With a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles), the quake struck at 2358 GMT […]

Powerful 7.4 earthquake rocks Ecuador: USGS

QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) – A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador Saturday, the US Geological Survey reported, as a tsumani warning was also issued for local coasts. “Based on the preliminary eartquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 kilometers of the earthquake epicenter,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

Colombia confirms two microcephaly cases linked to Zika virus

CALI, Colombia (Reuters) – Two cases of microcephaly linked to the Zika virus have been confirmed in Colombia, but there has been no explosion of cases of the birth defect, the health ministry said on Thursday (April 14). Public health officials have been concerned about the possibility of a surge in the rare birth defect, seen in worrisome numbers in Brazil, as the mosquito-borne virus spreads rapidly in Latin America and the Caribbean. More than […]

Drought-hit Venezuela awaits rain at pivotal Guri dam that provides most of the country’s electricity

GURI, Venezuela (Reuters) – Drought has turned parts of the area behind Venezuela’s Guri dam, one of the world’s biggest, into a desert, but the government is optimistic of rain within weeks to drive the vast installation that provides the bulk of the OPEC nation’s power. On a tour of the hydroelectric complex on the Caroni river, Electricity Minister Luis Motta told Reuters that forecasts showed a 70 to 80 percent chance of rain toward the […]

Thousands of dead sardines swamp southern Chile

QUEULE, Chile (Reuters) – Thousands of dead sardines were found floating on Monday (April 11) along the shores of Queule River in the southern Chilean region of Araucania. Experts are still investigating the cause of the death. Television news footage showed masses of the lifeless silver fish more than a foot deep choking the waters in and around the river shores and boats. At the weekend, Chilean health authorities began removing tons of sardines, scooping […]