The death toll soared from under 100 on Saturday night to 238 on Sunday afternoon — and it’s expected to rise. At least 1,500 people were injured, said Ricardo Peñaherrera of Ecuador’s national emergency management office.
The hardest-hit area was the coastal Manabi Province, where about 200 people died, Peñaherrera said. The cities of Manta, Puerto Viejo and Pedernales, a tourist destination, saw the most devastation but damage was widespread.
“It was the worst experience of my life,” survivor Jose Meregildo said Sunday about the tremors that violently shook his house in Guayaquil, 300 miles away from the quake’s epicenter. “Everybody in my neighborhood was screaming saying it was going to be the end of the world.”