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LATIN AMERICA

Powerful aftershocks continue to hit northern Ecuador

Tremor registering 6 on Richter scale felt over 400 kilometers away in the capital, with more expected

People affected by the quake lining up for help.
People affected by the quake lining up for help. AP

Aftershocks continue to hit Ecuador’s northern coast in the wake of Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude quake, which killed more than 580 people and left more than 20,000 homeless.

The latest tremor, which hit early Friday morning 60 kilometers out to sea from the coastal town of Jama, at a depth of 10 kilometers, registered 6 on the Richter scale, and brings the total number of aftershocks to 657.

The government will dock salaried workers’ pay as a contribution to the costs of reconstruction

The tremor was followed by several aftershocks of around 5 on the Richter scale, and were felt in the capital, Quito, more than 400 kilometers away.

Ecuador’s Geophysics Institute (IG) says the aftershocks will continue for at least a week following the powerful quake that hit at 6.58pm local time on Saturday, April 16. The epicenter of that earthquake was located between the towns of Cojimíes and Pedernales, in the province of Manabí, on the country’s northern coast.

President Rafael Correa, who has declared a two-month state of emergency and is visiting the areas hit by the quake, many of which are yet to receive help, has announced the government will dock salaried workers’ pay as a contribution to the costs of reconstruction, and that sales tax is to be raised.

People who earn $1,000 a month will contribute one day’s pay, those making $2,000 two days’ pay, and so on, up to those on $5,000 a month, who will donate a day’s pay for five months.

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English version by Nick Lyne.

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