UPDATE:

After yesterday’s tragic earthquake, Ecuador’s death toll has risen to well above 200, with the last recorded number being 238 fatalities and approximately 1500 injured. 

The seismic event was felt across Ecuador, northern Peru and southern Colombia, at around 8pm local time Saturday.

The magnitude 7.8 quake hit 27 kilometres south-southeast of coastal city Muisne, and buildings in the nation’s capital Quito could feel the shock more than 170 kilometres away. 

A state of emergency was declared in six provinces soon after the quake happened, which has now been upgraded to a national emergency. 

Vice President Jorge Glas called it the “worst seismic movement we have faced in decades”.

On Twitter, President Rafael Correa said this:

“I just signed decree of emergency and national mobilization. Today we are more united than ever.

The official death toll rises to 233. Manta has been very affected, and Pedernales is destroyed. 

The immediate priority is to rescue people in the rubble. Everything can be rebuilt, but lives cannot be recovered, and that’s what hurts the most.”

We will update this story as more information arises. 

Source: ABC / Twitter

Photo: Scott McLellan / Twitter