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Strongest Earthquake Since 1979 Hits Ecuador, Killing Over 200

Hundreds were killed in what Ecuadorian Vice President described as the strongest quake to hit the country since 1979.

People stand next to the debris of a building after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck off the country's northwest Pacific coast, in Manta, Ecuador on April 16, 2016.

When the Tumaco earthquake struck Ecuador in 1979, 600 people were killed and 20,000 injured, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Reuters

A man walks on top of a collapsed building in Manta, Ecuador on April, 16, 2016.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa says the death toll from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake has risen to 233. Correa sent the new figure on his official Twitter account while flying home from Rome to deal with the emergency.

Reuters

A hotel barely stands after the earthquake struck Manta, Ecuador, on April 16.

Patricio Ramos / AP

People take pictures of a collapsed bridge in Guayaquil, Ecuador on April 16.

David Rothery, a professor of planetary geosciences at The Open University, northeast of London, says that the quake in Ecuador began deeper underground than the recent Japan quakes, which would have lessened the shaking on the ground. But the greater loss of life and greater damage in Ecuador can be attributed to the country's less stringent construction codes.

JOSE SANCHEZ LINDAO / AFP - Getty Images

Residents walk on a street amid destroyed buildings following the earthquake in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 16.

ARIEL OCHOA / AFP - Getty Images

Rescue workers try to pull out survivors trapped in a collapsed building after the earthquake, in Manta early on April 17, 2016.
Some 10,000 armed forces and hundreds of emergency workers and firefighters have been sent to the region after the quake flattened buildings and buckled highways.

ARIEL OCHOA / AFP - Getty Images

Emergency teams conduct a preventive evacuation at a clinic due to the presence of cracks in the building following the strong earthquake in Ecuador, in Cali, Colombia, late on April 16, 2016.

In Colombia the quake was felt in cities like Cali, Pasto and Popayan, without any report of casualties, according to its National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD).

CHRISTIAN ESCOBAR MORA / EPA

Patients and their relatives wait outside the Colombia Clinic in Cali, Colombia, after being preventively evacuated following a powerful earthquake that hit Ecuador mostly, on April 16.

LUIS ROBAYO / AFP - Getty Images

People stay in an open area in Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city, early on April 17.

"It was terrifying, we were all scared and we're still out in the streets because we're worried about aftershocks," said Guayaquil security guard Fernando Garcia.

MARCOS PIN MENDEZ / AFP - Getty Images

A dog walks on a street after the earthquake in Guayaquil on April 17.

MARCOS PIN MENDEZ / AFP - Getty Images

A man points at a photo inside a fallen building in Guayaquil.

MARCOS PIN MENDEZ / AFP - Getty Images

Residents stay on the streets next to a collapsed building after the devastating earthquake hit Ecuadoran, in Pedernales.

Authorities said there were 135 aftershocks in the Pedernales area, according to Reuters.

JOSE JACOME / EPA

Residents react as they stand in the street to avoid aftershocks in Pedernales early on April 17.

Dolores Ochoa / AP

A car got squashed during the earthquake in Portoviejo. The picture was taken on April 17, 2016.

JUAN CEVALLOS / AFP - Getty Images

Red Cross members arrive at Eloy Alfaro airport in Manta on April 17.

The death toll is expected to rise Sunday as rescuers reached the sparsely populated area of fishing ports and tourist beaches where the magnitude-7.8 quake was centered.

GUILLERMO GRANJA / Reuters

People stand amongst the rubble of fallen homes in Manta on Sunday morning, April 17.

JUAN CEVALLOS / AFP - Getty Images

An elder takes photos of a collapsed building in Pedernales on April 17.

JOSE JACOME / EPA

Ecuadorian police officers search through debris at Tarqui neighborhood in Manta, on April 17.

GUILLERMO GRANJA / Reuters

Red Cross members, military and police officers work at a collapsed area on Sunday morning at Tarqui neighborhood in Manta.

GUILLERMO GRANJA / Reuters

Police officers hunt through debris in Manta on April 17.

GUILLERMO GRANJA / Reuters

A rescuer pulls a victim out from the rubble in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, on April 17.

RODRIGO BUENDIA / AFP - Getty Images

Rescuers carry a body pulled from the rubble in Pedernales on April 17.

Dolores Ochoa / AP

The quake has broken an expressway in Guayaquil.

MARCOS PIN MENDEZ / AFP - Getty Images

A vehicle rolls on a cracked route that was damaged by the magnitude-7.8 quake, in Chone on April 17.

JUAN CEVALLOS / AFP - Getty Images

A man evacuates his belongings in Manta on April 17.

LUIS ACOSTA / AFP - Getty Images

People carry the coffin of a family member in Manta on April 17. The toll from the big earthquake in Ecuador rose on Sunday to 246 dead and 2,527 people injured, the country's vice president said.

LUIS ACOSTA / AFP - Getty Images