Bay Area resident tries to get in touch with friend in Ecuador after quake

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A South San Francisco resident is still trying to get information on her close friend living in the quake zone in Ecuador. (KGO-TV)

Search and rescue efforts are still underway in Ecuador after that devastating earthquake this weekend. The government says the death toll stands at 413, including one American. Bay Area residents who travelled to the country are trying to find flights out now.

PHOTOS: Powerful earthquake hits Ecuador's coast

The destruction in urban areas is overwhelming. Concrete buildings have been reduced to rubble and rescue workers continue to search for survivors.

Bay Area earthquake researcher Kit Miyamoto says this quake is similar to the one that hit Nepal last year.

"It's a similar type of magnitude and length of that rupture, so it's a big one," he said.

South San Francisco resident Jemma Bradley is still trying to get information on one of her close friends in the quake zone.

"He's an American living in Canoa Ecuador, and he has not been marked as safe," she said. "And he's actually in one of the red zones. So 80 percent of the city was destroyed."

RELATED: Video, photos show massive damage and panic caused by Ecuador earthquake

Her friend is Florida native Antonio Soto Jr. He's part of what she describes as a sizable expatriate community in the South American country.

She's been monitoring the Facebook Safety Check feature that was activated this weekend. But he is the only one of her friends and family that has not checked in yet.

"I just Skyped two of them last night," she said. "They're my daughter's godparents. So talked to them and where were they and what their experience was."

A Vallejo couple vacationing in Ecuador told ABC7 News by phone they made it through the quake okay.

RELATED: American among dead in Ecuador earthquake

"My husband and I are both California natives, lived in the Bay Area most of our lives, and so we're very used to earthquakes," said Alice Gandelman.

She said they helped guide other vacationers to safe areas during and after the quake.

There are local groups that are beginning to organize relief efforts.

The Ecuadorian Association of Northern California is working on drop off areas in the Bay Area and Sacramento to collect donations.

They should have those locations set later this week.
Related Topics:
newsearthquakeu.s. & worlddisasterUSGSprepare norcalSouth San Francisco
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