Ecuador earthquake toll rises to 650

Ecuadoran President, Rafael Correa, said on Sunday in Quinto that the earthquake death toll in Ecuador has risen to 650 people, with more than 12,500 injured and 130 still unaccounted for.

He said some 26,000 people remained in emergency shelters a week after the 7.8 magnitude tremblor.

Mr. Correa 29 foreigners have been identified among the dead, including 10 Colombians, two Britons, an Irishman, an Italian, a Frenchman and a German.

The president said the delivery of clean drinking water remains a challenge in the affected region.

Mr. Correa said France announced it would send some 30 soldiers and a water purification system to the country.

The president said he would raise the value-added tax by two percentage points for a year and charge wealthy Ecuadorans a capital levy in order to pay for an estimated $3 billion in damage.

(dpa/NAN)

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