POMPTON LAKES - Ecuadorians in New Jersey say they have desperately been trying to reach family and friends back home following a deadly earthquake.

The death toll from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake has reached 246.

Katty Cedeno, who now lives in Pompton Lakes, says her mother's home in Ecuador collapsed.

She says her mother and sister have been visiting in New Jersey for the last three weeks. They were set to fly back Monday, but the flight has been canceled because of the earthquake.

Cedeno says she has been getting reports from her stepdad and grandmother who survived.

Other residents say they are equally concerned.

Over 1,500 people are reported injured, and the search and rescue goes on for those trapped in collapsed buildings.

The Ecuadorian government has deployed 10,000 soldiers to help in affected areas.

To improve communication, which is sketchy in some areas, Skype will be free for the next few days.