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    Ecuador's President Rafael Correa (R) embraces a resident after the earthquake, which struck off the Pacific coast, in the town of Canoa, Ecuador April 18, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

At least 413 people are now known to have died in the earthquake, the country's government says and warned that the death toll could rise in coming hours.

Cuban health authorities said Monday that three doctors died in the city of Pedernales, the epicenter of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Ecuador on Saturday.

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The bodies of Dr. Barbara Caridad Cruz Ruiz, 46, Dr. Leonardo Ortiz Estrada, 53, and Dr. Eric Omar Alejo Perez de Quesada, 41, have been recovered and will be sent back to Cuba.

At least 413 people are now known to have died in the earthquake, according to Ecuadorean authorities who warned the death toll could rise in coming hours.

President Rafael Correa said in a press conference that this is the biggest tragedy to hit Ecuador in the past seven decades.

Defense Minister of Ecuador Ricardo Patiño said more than 400 rescue workers have reached Ecuador from Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile, El Salvador, Bolivia, Mexico and Spain.

The U.N. has praised the cooperation efforts between Ecuadorian and international authorities who have worked tirelessly to provide humanitarian assistance to those impacted by the quake.

Meanwhile, in recent days several regional leaders including the heads of state from Bolivia and Venezuela have issued public statements expressing their solidarity with the victims of the Ecuadorean earthquake.

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