The Americas

Death toll from Ecuador earthquake tops 650

  • Roberto Ganchoso is comforted by a neighbor as he sits on what's left of his neighborhood, as he watches a bulldozer demolish the hotel next door to his property in Pedernales, Ecuador, Saturday, April 23, 2016. President Rafael Correa has said the earthquake caused $3 billion in damage and warned that the reconstruction effort will take years. His administration is temporarily raising taxes to fund the recovery. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

    Roberto Ganchoso is comforted by a neighbor as he sits on what's left of his neighborhood, as he watches a bulldozer demolish the hotel next door to his property in Pedernales, Ecuador, Saturday, April 23, 2016. President Rafael Correa has said the earthquake caused $3 billion in damage and warned that the reconstruction effort will take years. His administration is temporarily raising taxes to fund the recovery. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police cadet Erick Palacios holds one-year-old Juanita Yamile Marquez as he watches over her and her siblings while their mother searches for usable items inside an earthquake-damaged building, with permission from the owners, on the outskirts of Pedernales, Ecuador, Saturday, April 23, 2016. The earthquake damage has added to the already heavy economic hardships being felt in this OPEC nation because of a collapse in world oil prices. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

    Police cadet Erick Palacios holds one-year-old Juanita Yamile Marquez as he watches over her and her siblings while their mother searches for usable items inside an earthquake-damaged building, with permission from the owners, on the outskirts of Pedernales, Ecuador, Saturday, April 23, 2016. The earthquake damage has added to the already heavy economic hardships being felt in this OPEC nation because of a collapse in world oil prices. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man collects metal to recycle before a bulldozer demolishes homes, one week after a devastating earthquake in Pedernales, Ecuador, Saturday, April 23, 2016. Ecuadorean officials say the number of people left homeless climbed to over 25,000. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

    A man collects metal to recycle before a bulldozer demolishes homes, one week after a devastating earthquake in Pedernales, Ecuador, Saturday, April 23, 2016. Ecuadorean officials say the number of people left homeless climbed to over 25,000. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)  (The Associated Press)

The death toll from last week's magnitude-7.8 earthquake that flattened towns along Ecuador's coast has risen to 654 with another 58 people missing, officials said Saturday.

The website of the secretariat for risk management said that 113 people had been rescued alive following the quake and more than 25,000 people remained in shelters.

The death toll from Ecuador's quake has surpassed that of Peru's 2007 temblor, making it the deadliest quake in South America since one in Colombia in 1999 killed more than 1,000 people.

Hundreds of aftershocks have rattled the country since last Saturday night's quake and Ecuadoreans are still sleeping outside and struggling to find food and water. Aid is arriving from abroad but relief workers have warned of delays in water distribution and said mosquito-borne illness could spread through the camps.

President Rafael Correa has said the quake caused $3 billion in damage and warned that the reconstruction effort will take years. His administration is temporarily raising taxes to fund the recovery. Even before the quake, Ecuador was bracing for a bout of austerity, with the International Monetary Fund forecasting the economy would shrink 4.5 percent this year.