Salvador Quake Death Toll Reaches 381

El Salvador President Francisco Flores said on Sunday that at least 381 people in his country were killed, 779 injured and hundreds missing in the strong earthquake on Saturday.

According to reports reaching here, the president said at a news conference the death toll could be still higher.

The earthquake, measured between 7.6 and 7.9 on the open-ended Richter scale, struck the Central America and southern Mexico with El Salvador worst hit, setting off landslides and burying hundreds of homes. At least six people were killed in Guatemala.

The State Police spokesman were quoted as saying that there were about 8,000 houses destroyed and 17,000 houses were damaged. The National Emergency Committee said at least 1,200 people were still missing in the massive landslide and the hope is very slim for them to survive.

The quake occurred at 11:34 a.m. (1734 GMT)on Saturday and was felt across El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras and as far north as Mexico City.

Aftershocks continued to be felt into Sunday, with 569 aftershocks being recorded, according to geological research institute reports.

The Salvadoran president made an urgent appeal for international aid. According to reports reaching here, the president has ask Colombia to provide 3,000 coffins to put at the disposition of the dead.

World Aids Quake-Striken El Salvador

Countries around the world began on Sunday to send aids and rescue teams to El Salvador where at least 380 people were killed in the massive earthquake on Saturday.

According to reports reaching here, Ecuador declared that it is collecting emergency aids including food, medicine and camps and will soon deliver them to El Salvador by a military plane.

Mexico was the first to deliver relief teams. Military disaster experts, rescue dogs and relief supplies arrived El Salvador half- day after the quake.

Another quake-striken country, Guatemala, sent a crucial aid -- electricity -- to El Salvador and by Sunday was supplying over 40 percent of the country's power, up from 10 percent normally.

The United States, Spain, Germany, France, Britain and Panama also offered help from relief teams to blankets, medical kits, drinking water, plastic tarps for makeshift shelters and cash donations.

People's Daily Online ---