-- Lenox, a service dog in Ecuador specially trained to search for survivors, signaled to its handler this morning that he may have found someone alive beneath the rubble.
Amid the destruction in Ecuador following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake last Saturday, it is up to dogs like Lenox, and his counterpart, Theo, to find the bodies hidden beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings.
Lenox's lead ended up being a false alarm, but rescue workers will send the invaluable Golden Retriever out again to look for anyone who may be trapped under mountains of debris from collapsed buildings.
Police and rescue workers, equipped with sonar technology, flashlights and cameras, used their hands to dig holes in the rubble in Pedernales' main plaza, near the earthquake's epicenter, and called into them.
"Hola," rescue workers shouted before pausing for a response.
At least 500 people are dead following last Saturday's earthquake, and the death toll is expected to keep rising as aftershocks continue to rock the area, the Associated Press reported. More than 100 people are still missing and about 4,600 people were injured in the tremors.
An aerial view of Pedernales shows a juxtaposition of the peaceful Pacific Ocean next to a world of destruction. Landslides, collapsed buildings of all sizes and rubble litter the coast. Dozens of tents are seen outside a school, which is being used as a refugee center.
Almost every building is damaged, said ABC News correspondent Linzie Janis from the ground in Pedernales. She described her surroundings as a "developing country."
"You can tell these buildings have not been built to withstand an earthquake," Janis said. "It's incredible how many people are still here, living here, even with all this devastation."
Shelter is scarce in Pedernales. Some people have been forced to sleep outdoors, exposed to the elements.
One family moved into a soccer field after their home, just up the hill, was destroyed in the earthquake. Parents, children and friends gathered in the field, anxiously waiting for aid before the army moves in.
The Colombia Red Cross is assisting the Ecuadorian Red Cross to perform sweeps of the area devastated by the earthquake.