Ecuador earthquake: Comandos de Salvamento participates in rescue efforts
A team from NPA partner organization Comandos de Salvamento has arrived in Ecuador to assist national authorities in search and rescue efforts after the earthquake.
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Death tolls continue to rise after the earthquake that hit Ecuador Saturday night. To assist in the demanding rescue work, NPA partner organization Comandos de Salvamento in El Salvador has sent professional rescue workers to Ecuador as part of a group of 24 people coordinated by the Salvadorian Ministry of Foreign Relations. A total of 7 members of Comandos have arrived in Ecuador and are participating in search and rescue operations.
“The members of Comandos are part of an Urban Search And Rescue group specializing in search and rescue operations in collapsed buildings. The group is comprised of experts from several institutions, among them police, firefighters, the Red Cross, Cruz Verde and Comandos de Salvamento”, said NPA Regional Director for Latin America, David Bergan.
A 7.8 earthquake hit Northern Ecuador in the evening on Saturday 16 April 2016. The epicentre was 27 kilometres from the small coastal town of Muisne.
In the coastal town Pedernales, which has 55.000 inhabitants, as much as 80-90 % of buildings have been destroyed, says
“President Rafael Correa has asked people to donate food, blankets and clothes to the people who have been affected”, he said.
The Government declared a “State of Exception” for 6 provinces: Esmeraldas, Manabí, Santa Elena, Guayas, Santo Domingo and Los Ríos. As of Tuesday, authorities report 413 people dead, 2,600 injured and many buildings and roads are destroyed or damaged.
NPA has worked in Ecuador since 1985, and cooperates with a number of local partner organizations in the country. Many of them report large damages in their areas. We are in dialogue with all our partners to map out the situation and need for rebuilding efforts.