9th May, 2016

The death toll from an earthquake which devastated the South America nation of Ecuador's north-west last month has reached 660, the UN announced late last week with some 23 people still said to be missing.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said nearly 23,000 buildings were destroyed after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and 560 schools affected.

More than half a million people have received health assistance in the wake of the quake while the number of people now living in shelters has dropped to 22,754.

But, according to the OCHA, more than 720,000 people still need humanitarian assistance while an appeal to raise $US73 million to assist some 350,000 people in the coming months is only 11 per cent funded.

~ www.unocha.org

- DAVID ADAMS