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272 Killed in Ecuador Quake, No Chinese Casualties
   2016-04-18 18:40:41    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Min Rui

Buildings barely left standing after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. So far, at least 272 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes. [Photo: CFP]

Related: Experts Suggest the Earth Enters into Seismic Active Period

China on Monday expressed deep concern and sympathy to quake-hit Ecuador, saying it stands ready to provide disaster relief assistance to the country.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador's coast on Saturday, leaving at least 272 dead and thousands of others injured.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily press briefing that China extends deep condolences to the victims and sincere sympathy to the bereaved families and injured.

China believes the Ecuadorian people will overcome the difficulties and rebuilt their homes, said Lu.

He said China remains in close contact with the Ecuadorian government in order to provide necessary assistance to Ecuador in light of its needs.

So far the Chinese Embassy in Ecuador has not received any reports of death or injuries of Chinese nationals, said Lu, adding that the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the embassy and consulates in Ecuador will closely follow the situation and provide help to Chinese nationals if necessary.

The Ministry of Commerce also said on Monday that it is working on a plan to help reconstruction in Ecuador.

Saturday's earthquake was the strongest to hit Ecuador since 1979. The Latin American country is located in a region with frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Ecuador has declared a state of emergency in six provinces and has mobilized around 14,000 army and public security forces to affected areas.

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