The damage caused by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador”s northern coast, on Saturday, was estimated at $3 billion USD, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said today.
I roughly estimate that the damage reaches a figure of about $3 billion USD, said the president, who visits Tuesday the most affected areas by the earthquake that left 413 people dead and over 2,000 injured.
According to Correa, the figure is equivalent to 3 percent of Ecuadorian gross domestic product, so the reconstruction will take years.
It is a long struggle, the president added, inviting Ecuadorians not to get discouraged.
Earlier today, Correa said on Twitter that the province of Manabi would be rebuilt.
We rebuilt Manabi once and we will do it again. It is a big tragedy but the courage of the Ecuadorian people is bigger, he said.
The earthquake’s epicenter was located near the resort of Pedernales, where most of the buildings were destroyed, while nearby cities like Manta, Portoviejo, Jama and others also suffered serious damage.
According to experts, the death toll could rise, as the first 72 hours are crucial to find survivors.