Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, thanked Colombia for its assistance in the crisis following last week’s earthquake.
In a statement made on Monday, Correa thanked his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos for the support that Ecuador received from their near neighbors.
“They have sent water on ships, we have vehicles for transport and aid, 25 tons of food, cleaning utensils in four flights, more than 2,000 tents and 167 rescue workers who have done an extraordinary job, saved several lives and helped also to rescue bodies,” Correa said during visit of Santos to an Ecuadorean military base.
Disaster struck the South American country last Saturday when an M7.8 earthquake was registered.
The tremor devastated the country killing 654 people and forcing more than 20,000 from their homes.
President Correa lamented the loss of 11 Colombian lives in the tragedy and urged survivors to move forward and overcome the adversity.
“Those brothers who today leave their homelands wanting to make a living in Ecuador, nature has punished them very strongly. They have lost their homes, their businesses; the material is recovered but the most important thing is that they have life, the most important is the safety, the health of their families,” he said.
The Ecuadorian president said that with the aid sent by Colombia and other countries, the situation had been made more bearable.
Currently there are in the region of 300 thousand Colombians residing in Ecuador.