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Ecuador extended the state of emergency declared on 16 April, following the earthquake that devastated populated coastal leaving more than 600 dead and thousands of homes destroyed, said President Rafael Correa.

"We will renew the state of emergency because we still have tens of thousands of families in shelters, some in official shelters," Correa said during his weekly activity report.

The President added that, "many victims are still in unofficial shelters in makeshift shelters," after the powerful earthquake of 7.8 magnitude. Although the president did not say how long it will extend the state of emergency, the Ecuadorian Constitution states that "may be renewed for up to thirty days."

The earthquake, which has generated more than 1,800 aftershocks up to 6.8 degrees, left 668 dead, eight missing and some 80,000 displaced. The authorities have counted about 29,000 houses collapsed or are at risk of collapse, affected 875 schools and 51 medical centers and 83 km of damaged roads by the temblor.

Ecuador announced last week that it will need $ 3,344 million to rebuild the damage left by the earthquake, of which 2,253 million (67%) will be borne by the public sector and 1,091 million (33%) by the private.

(Source: La Nación)