Six weeks after a devastating earthquake hit Ecuador… the clean up goes on.
The 7.8 magnitude quake in April was the worst here in decades.
The numbers say it all:
More than 650 people killed… some 7,000 others injured … 2,000 buildings damaged … and close to 30,000 survivors forced into shelters.
Some people, like in the coastal city of Manta, have gradually returned, hoping to recover what few belongings are still worth salvaging.
But residents like Ariel Bailon are left to wonder … will they ever be able to reclaim their homes?
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MANTA RESIDENT, ARIEL BAILON, SAYING:
“My parents, grandparents, they were all born here. They grew up here. I grew up here. And now only the rubble remains.”
Water and first aid equipment are still in need.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) RED CROSS PRESIDENT, TADATERU KONOE, SAYING:
“It’s very grave. And I am sure it takes a long time before the situation goes back to normal.”
Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, wants to temporarily increase some taxes to pay for the reconstruction.
But this poor nation of 16 million people is already facing near-zero growth and the leftist leader says the quake may have inflicted up to three BILLION dollars in damage.
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