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Rescuers pull 72yo survivor from rubble two weeks after a deadly Ecuador quake

Gorkha Post

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QUITO — Crews have rescued a 72-year-old survivor of Ecuador’s deadly earth quake almost two weeks after it struck the South American country.

A visiting Venezuelan search team located Manuel Vasquez, who had been trapped under rubble since the 7.8-magnitude quake that killed 660 people, the Venezuelan embassy in Quito said on its website.

They found Vasquez “making sounds in a partially collapsed building” on Friday (local time) in Manabi province while doing inspections for structural problems, it said.

The April 16 quake was the worst to strike Ecuador in decades, causing buildings to collapse and damaging roads and other infrastructure in tourist areas along the coast.

Mr Vasquez was admitted to hospital with kidney trouble and lost toes. He was also dehydrated and disoriented.

Ecuador welcomed hundreds of rescue teams, doctors, nurses, firefighters and other support staff after the quake from a slew of countries.

President Rafael Correa has announced a series of drastic economic measures aimed at paying for what he estimates will be the $3 billion cost of rebuilding the shattered country.

AFP

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South Korea to announce joint military drill plan with US before April

Thompson Reuters

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SEOUL — South Korea and the United States will announce plans before April for a postponed joint military drill, South Korea’s defense minister said on Tuesday.

Seoul and Washington had agreed to postpone the regular joint military exercise until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics being hosted in South Korea, which end on March 18.

After the decision to delay the joint exercise, North Korea agreed to hold the first official talks with South Korea in more than two years and send athletes to the Winter Games, easing a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes.

Asked when the two countries will hold the postponed drill, Song Young-moo told parliament he and his U.S. counterpart, Jim Mattis, would make an announcement between March 18 and the start of April.

“The exercise was postponed according to the spirit of the Olympics,” Song said. “We have agreed to uphold the basis until after the Paralympics…and not to confirm nor deny anything regarding what we would do after that until we announce it”.

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Song added inter-Korean talks had not come about as a direct result of the postponed drill.

But North Korea has warned it would not sit idle if the United States and South Korea push ahead with the postponed military exercises.

North Korea denounces the drills as preparations to invade it, and it has at times conducted missile tests or taken other aggressive action in response.

The South Korean and US militaries usually hold military exercises called Key Resolve and Foal Eagle in March and April, which can involve as many as 17,000 US troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans.

South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon said talks to stage the postponed military drill were moving forward.

“I am aware negotiations are moving towards a direction where the drills will be held,” Cho said in a separate parliamentary session on Tuesday, without elaborating.

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