Ecuadorians are sleeping outside and struggling to find food and water as aftershocks continue to rock towns flatted by a powerful earthquake.

Virtually every building in the beach town of Canoas has been turned into rubble. Residents sleeping in makeshift shelters say they are just praying that it doesn't rain.

A powerful magnitude-6.0 quake struck off the coast late Thursday, followed by smaller quakes. President Rafael Correa says shaking is to be expected, and is urging people to stay calm and keep their strength up.

Aid workers are warning of delays in water distribution, and say there is also a threat of mosquito-borne illness spreading in camps.

The death count rose to at least 587 on Thursday night as rescuers continued to sort through the rubble.