US

China sends 4 planeloads of aid to quake-ravaged Ecuador

In this Wednesday, April 20, 2016 photo, neighbors Carlos Bardales, left, and Cesar Filay, share a mattress as they sleep outside their collapsed homes damaged by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, in Manta, Ecuador. 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. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

In this Wednesday, April 20, 2016 photo, neighbors Carlos Bardales, left, and Cesar Filay, share a mattress as they sleep outside their collapsed homes damaged by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, in Manta, Ecuador. 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. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)  (The Associated Press)

China's government has sent four plane loads of aid worth over $9 million to tens of thousands left homeless by this month's powerful earthquake in Ecuador

Ecuador's Defense and Foreign Ministers on Wednesday welcomed the arrival of the Air China cargo planes carrying mattresses, tents and other supplies.

China is Ecuador's biggest creditor and last year alone lent the struggling oil-producing nation $7.5 billion.

The U.S. in contrast has airlifted $1.3 million in humanitarian assistance as well as deployed a team of disaster-response experts.

Also on Wednesday the government raised its death toll from the 7.8 magnitude quake, saying that 659 people had been killed and 29,000 left homeless.