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Ecuador earthquake: Death tolls continue to rise

Death tolls continue to rise after the earthquake that hit Ecuador Saturday night.

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 NPA Regional Director for Latin America, David Bergan.

“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.

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. 3 members of Comandos arrived in Ecuador on Monday and were sent to Puerto Viejo in Manabi province.

“The 3 members of Comandos are technicians in medical emergencies and first aid, and are trained in search and rescue in collapsed structures”, said Bergan.

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 and are working to map out the situation.

A team of professional rescue workers from NPA partner organization Comandos de Salvamento has arrived in Ecuador to assist in the rescue work.

18.04.2016 | Julie Offerdal