The Americas

Neighbors deny rescue of quake-buried man in Ecuador

This April 25, 2016 photo shows a sign that reads in Spanish; "We need help because we were affected by the earthquake, we need food and medicine," on the side of a highway outside Pedernales, Ecuador. More than a dozen roads were closed due to damage from th April 16, 7.8-magnitude earthquake, making it harder for rescuers to reach where they were needed most. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

This April 25, 2016 photo shows a sign that reads in Spanish; "We need help because we were affected by the earthquake, we need food and medicine," on the side of a highway outside Pedernales, Ecuador. More than a dozen roads were closed due to damage from th April 16, 7.8-magnitude earthquake, making it harder for rescuers to reach where they were needed most. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)  (The Associated Press)

Ecuadorean news media say relatives, neighbors and a nurse are denying reports that a 72-year-old man had been buried in his quake-damaged house for two weeks before being rescued.

The major newspaper El Universo says relatives and friends of Manuel Velazquez were in regular contact with him after the magnitude 7.8 quake on April 16, and had taken him food. They say his house in the town of Jaramijo was damaged, but he wasn't trapped.

Neighbor Alexandra Zambrano told the newspaper that Venezuelan rescuers took Velasquez to a clinic on Friday. Brother Crisobal Velazquez says the man suffers from diabetes and a clinic nurse said he received kidney treatment.

Venezuela's embassy in Ecuador had reported him trapped by rubble since the quake, which killed more than 650 people.