LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department are on alert to scramble to Ecuador Sunday in the aftermath of the earthquake that killed at least 238 people.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the central Ecuador coast Saturday, leveling buildings and rupturing roadways, according to news reports. A national state of emergency was declared Saturday.

READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Site On Reservoir Street Moves To Echo Park Lake

Los Angeles County firefighters are on standby to assist in the rescue efforts, but the call to get to an aiport had not arrived by midday, said spokesman Randall Wright.

The alert is in effect only for the Ecuador earthquake, though it may be expanded to include the back-to-back quakes that shook southern Japan last week, killing at least 42 people, Wright said.

READ MORE: 3 Men Arrested In Fatal Stabbing In Koreatown

Search dogs, their handlers and other specialized crews from Los Angeles and Fairfax County, Virginia are often sent by the U.S. government to overseas quakes.

In 2015, the teams arrived in Nepal three days after the devastating mega-quake there, and the L.A. crews pulled a teenager alive from rubble five days after he was trapped there.

MORE NEWS: 3 Teens Killed In Pasadena Crash

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)