Ecuador declares state of emergency following 7.8 magnitude earthquake

Ecuador has declared a state of emergency following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake , the strongest to hit the South American country in decades, according to the UN Children’ Fund.

The death toll stands at 246 so far with more than 2,500 people injured, the agency says.
The quake hit the country’s central coast, affecting six provinces.

On Monday, UNICEF emergency supplies began to reach the affected areas, including the distribution of 20,000 water purification tablets to Pedernales, the area worst affected by the earthquake.

The agency says it will need $1 million to meet the immediate needs of the quake-affected children.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a statement earlier commending the authorities in Ecuador for their rescue efforts adding that the United Nations stood ready to provide additional support.

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