72-year-old rescued 13 days after Ecuador quake

Quito, May 1 (IANS) A 72-year-old man was rescued by Venezuelan relief workers, 13 days after a devastating earthquake jolted Ecuador’s northern coast.

The miraculous rescue occurred in Manabi province on Friday, when a Venezuelan rescue mission from the Humanitarian Task Force “Liberator Simon Bolivar” inspected the danger zone in Jaramijo Canton, Venezuela’s embassy in Quito announced on Saturday.

After being alerted by sounds coming from a partially collapsed building, the rescue workers immediately entered and found the survivor trapped between the walls of a room, Xinhua news agency reported.

The man, identified as Manuel Vasquez, showed signs of chronic kidney failure. He was also dehydrated and disoriented, and was taken to a nearby hospital.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on April 16 has killed 660 people and injured 4,605 others. So far, 133 people have been rescued, 22,421 displaced people housed in shelters and 32 remain missing.

The Venezuelan Embassy in Ecuador said the rescue team, after 13 days, has carried out tasks in two of the country’s provinces and has medically treated 7,712 people and inspected 2,616 building structures.

The Venezuelan team was the first to arrive in Ecuador to help after the terrible tragedy, the embassy added.

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