Government officials in Ecuador are now reporting 525 deaths were caused by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck off the Pacific coast on April 16—but they fear the tally could climb much higher, since as many as 1,700 are still listed as missing, and recovery efforts have just begun. The strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades tore up highways and knocked down hundreds of buildings in communities along the coast. Rescuers are still hoping to find survivors amid the rubble who may have been trapped for days—more than 50 have already been rescued since Saturday.

1. The view of a fallen building after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016.
Juan Cevallos / AFP / Getty
2. Rescue workers work to pull out survivors trapped in a collapsed building after a huge earthquake struck, in the city of Manta early on April 17, 2016.
Ariel Ochoa / AFP / Getty
3. The severely damaged Basilica de Monserrate's tower stands in tatters after an earthquake in Montecristi, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016.
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4. The view of a vehicle squashed by rubble after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016.
Juan Cevallos / AFP / Getty
5. A girl is rescued from the rubble in Pedernales, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016.
Dolores Ochoa / AP
6. A collapsed bridge, after an earthquake struck off the Pacific coast, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016.
Henry Romero / Reuters
7. A picture taken in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, a day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 17, 2016.
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8. With the help of trained dogs, rescue workers in the city of Manta, in Manabí Province, search on April 17, 2016, through the rubble for survivors of the 7.8-magnitude quake that hit Ecuador on Saturday.
Ariel Ochoa / AFP / Getty
9. Rescuers search for victims buried under the rubble in Pedernales, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016.
Rodrigo Buendia / AFP / Getty
10. Military officers stand next to a damaged sculpture at the Eloy Alfaro Airport in Manta on April 17, 2016.
Guillermo Granja / Reuters
11. A rescue worker watches as heavy machinery removes the debris of a collapsed building in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016.
Carlos Sacoto / AP
12. An aerial view of Pedernales, one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, taken on April 18, 2016.
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13. Another aerial view of Pedernales, one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, taken on April 18, 2016.
Pablo Cozzaglio / AFP / Getty
14. Vehicles from a car dealership hang on a precipice caused by an earthquake-induced landslide in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016.
Juan Fernando Molina / AP
15. Firemen work after an earthquake struck off Ecuador's Pacific coast, at the Tarqui neighborhood in Manta, on April 17, 2016.
Guillermo Granja / Reuters
16. A hand appears from the rubble of a collapsed building in Pedernales, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016.
Dolores Ochoa / AP
17. A man evacuates his belongings in Manta, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016.
Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty
18. Firefighters remove a body recovered from a destroyed building felled by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 18, 2016.
Rodrigo Abd / AP
19. A member of the Mexican rescue group TOPOS rubs his eyes as he works in the rubble of an earthquake collapsed building in Pedernales, on April 19, 2016.
Dolores Ochoa / AP
20. Police officers pile empty coffins in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, two days after the earthquake hit, on April 18, 2016.
Rodrigo Buendia / AFP / Getty
21. A collapsed building in Pedernales on April 18, 2016.
Guillermo Granja / Reuters
22. Pablo Rafael Cordova Canizares shakes hands with one of the Colombian firefighters who rescued him, at the Verdi Cevallos Hospital in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 18, 2016. The 51-year-old hotel administrator was one of a trickle of survivors pulled from the rubble after Ecuador's strongest earthquake in decades flattened towns along the coast and killed hundreds.
Emilio D. Garcia / AP
23. A man looks at a rift in a highway created by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, in Chacras, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016.
Rodrigo Abd / AP
24. A view of a destroyed house in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016.
Juan Cevallos / AFP / Getty
25. Local residents reach for water in Manta, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016, three days after the powerful quake struck Ecuador's Pacific coast.
Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty
26. Residents sleep under a makeshift tent outside the emergency center in the town of Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016.
Rodrigo Abd / AP
27. Relatives mourn the loss of their family members, victims of the earthquake, during a funeral service in Portoviejo, on April 18, 2016.
Rodrigo Abd / AP
28. Edith Mero nurses her broken arm as she stands in front of her collapsed house in Estancia Las Palmas, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016. Edith's husband died and she was injured during the earthquake.
Rodrigo Abd / AP
29. Maria Victoria, 89, is comforted by her daughter Mariana in Estancia Las Palmas, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016. Maria Victoria was injured when a column fell on her after 7.8-magnitude earthquake collapsed her home.
Rodrigo Abd / AP
30. Injured people are evacuated on a military airplane from the air base in Manta, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016.
Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty
31. Rescuers search for victims buried under the rubble in Pedernales, Ecuador, on April 19, 2016.
Rodrigo Buendia / AFP / Getty
32. Scarlett Macias comforts her father Hercor Macias during the funeral of her mother Valentina Arteaga, who died inside her house during the earthquake, in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on April 18, 2016. “Daddy, don't cry. I told you, you do not have to mourn,” Scarlett said to her father minutes after the funeral.
Rodrigo Abd / AP