The earthquake, which hit about 170 km northwest of Quito late Saturday, is the strongest in more than 35 years, prompting President Rafael Correa to declare a national emergency and deploy 10,000 soldiers to the region alongside 4,600 police officers.
Two Canadians were killed in the quake–identified as Jennifer Mawn and 12-year old Arthur Laflamme, who moved to Ecuador from Quebec in September. Mawn’s husband, Pierre Laflamme, and their daughter, Laurie-Ann, were not injured.
Speaking Monday afternoon on the Andrew Lawton Show, a World Vision representative, Santiago Mosquera, said that because of the situation on the ground and continued efforts to remove people trapped under collapsed buildings, the death toll is expected to rise more in coming days.
Humanitarian aid and support has flowed into the region from governments and private charities since the earthquake. Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, the parliamentary secretary to Canada’s foreign affairs minister, told the House of Commons Monday afternoon that her department is responding to the deadly weekend quake by offering help and support to the families of victims.
The Canadian government pledged an immediate $1 million towards relief efforts, with more likely on the way, according to the international development minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau.