Editor’s Note: A top official in Ecuador told CNN en Español that the Venezuelan Embassy’s report that was the basis for this article is not accurate. The man was hospitalized due to illness and was not trapped in rubble. Several other details were also incorrect. For more details, read our latest reporting here.
For nearly two weeks, a 72-year-old man was trapped between the walls where his room had collapsed after a major earthquake shook the coast of Ecuador.
The building where Manuel Vasquez lived had partially collapsed after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck on April 16.
On Friday, a visiting humanitarian team from Venezuela heard noises coming from a building as they were performing risk inspections in the coastal city of Jaramijo. When they entered the building to investigate, they found a badly dehydrated, malnourished and disoriented Vasquez, according to a statement from the Venezuelan embassy.
He suffered kidney failure and obstruction in his urinary tract. Several of his left toes had been severed and he had necrosis on both of his ankles. Vasquez is receiving care at a local hospital.
It’s unclear how he survived for 13 days. The most critical necessity for trapped survivors is having enough air supply while they’re trapped, followed by water and food.
The devastating earthquake in Ecuador has killed over 600 people in what the nation’s officials called “the worst tragedy in 60 years.”
There have been occasional stories about unlikely earthquake survivors who are pulled after weeks in the debris. In 2010, a 31-year-old man said he survived two weeks under rubble after the Haiti earthquake because he found a two-gallon jug of water. Another Haiti earthquake survivor was purported to have survived 10 weeks.