QUITO, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's President Rafael Correa announced Monday that he would maintain a state of emergency in the two coastal provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabi, the worst-hit by an earthquake on April 16, until aftershocks stop happening.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed 668 people and displaced around 80,000. Reconstruction efforts have been hampered by almost daily aftershocks, with two measured at 5.9 and 6.3 happening on Sunday in Esmeraldas.
The aftershocks have also caused constant fear among the population as Correa wrote in a statement, saying "no major damage was reported but people are very afraid."
On Monday, Correa travelled to Esmeraldas to meet with local and central government authorities to evaluate the situation.
He was to visit shelters for those displaced by the earthquake and those seeking refuge for fear of the aftershocks.
In his statement, he said an emergency committee was in place for Esmeraldas and was ready to act, should an emergency occur.
After the April 16 earthquake, Correa declared a 60-day state of emergency for the coastal provinces of El Oro, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabi and Santa Elena. This was prolonged for 30 days on June 16.
Until Sunday, the country had seen 2,145 aftershocks, according to Ecuador's Geophysical Institute. Enditem