PEDERNALES, Ecuador — Parts of Ecuador have been devastated by the country’s strongest earthquake in decades, as the death toll continues to rise and people left homeless prepare for a second night outside in complete darkness.
Officials say the quake that hit Saturday night killed more than 240 people and injured more than 2,500 along Ecuador’s coast.
Much damage has been reported in the cities of Manta, Portoviejo and Guayaquil, though loss of life is worse in smaller towns closer to the epicenter.
In Pedernales, a town of 40,000, soldiers put up a field hospital in a stadium where hundreds of people prepared to sleep outside for a second straight night.
President Rafael Correa, who cut short a trip to Rome and rushed home to oversee relief efforts, declared a national emergency.