A powerful earthquake that struck coastal Ecuador has left 272 people dead, including two Canadians.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck just 170 kilometres northwest of the capital, Quito late Saturday.
It is the strongest quake to hit Ecuador since 1979, levelling buildings and buckling highways along the Pacific Coast of the South American country.
Ottawa has confirmed two people from Quebec were killed.
According to Global News, the victims have been identified as Jennifer Mawn and her 12-year-old son Arthur Laflamme.
Mawn’s husband, Pierre Laflamme, and the couple’s second child, Laurie-Ann, were not seriously injured.
The family had moved to Ecuador in September.
Officials, meanwhile say more than 2,500 people were injured, and thousands more have been left homeless.
President Rafael Correa has declared a national emergency, and 10,000 members of the armed forces have been deployed to the earthquake region in addition to 4,600 national police.
A desperate search for survivors continues Monday, with authorities expecting the death toll to rise significantly.
Global Affairs says it wants friends and relatives of people travelling in Ecuador to contact their emergency response centre.