— -- Nearly two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, killing at least 654 people, a Venezuelan rescue crew pulled a 72-year-old man from the rubble of a building.
Manuel Vasquez was discovered by Venezuelan rescuers in the fishing town of Jaramijo on Friday while doing building inspections after they heard him making noises from underneath the rubble of a partially collapsed building, according to a statement released Saturday by the Venezuelan embassy in Quito.
Vasquez, who had been trapped in the building since the April 16 earthquake, was dehydrated and disoriented, and was suffering from kidney failure and a urinary tract infection. The embassy said he also lost several toes.
He remains hospitalized.
Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas called the seismic event "the strongest quake we have faced in decades," adding it was the strongest quake registered in the country since 1979.
The nation's armed forces and police were mobilized to keep public order, and Red Cross Ecuador had said more than 1,200 volunteers had taken part in rescue efforts, evacuation and first aid operations. Ecuador's Risk Management agency said 10,000 armed forces personnel were deployed to help people in the coastal areas.