Ecuador: Numbers of missing after earthquake contradict reports by relatives

Posted on April 27, 2016 • Filed under: Ecuador, Ecuador Emergency

Official numbers contradict reports by relatives, as citizens turn to social networks to locate loved ones – Ecuador’s authorities say 130 people are still missing 10 days after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the country, although reports by victims’ families on social media indicate the number could be much higher. People Locator, a website endorsed by the Interior Ministry, lists 2,200 unsolved cases. This figure is an estimate, says the site’s developer Esteban Mendieta. “There are duplicate entries and some have not been updated, even though relatives have found the missing person,” he says, adding that staff at the country’s missing persons registry are also combing through the data.

Medical student Marcos Menéndez is one of hundreds of missing people listed on the ministry’s website. Classmate Emilia Moreira says Menéndez went to Jama to spend a few days with family, but since then she has heard nothing from him. “He hasn’t checked in and a few people on Facebook say they saw him at a shelter, but they are not giving us any more information. We are going to Jama this week to look for him.”

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