Ecuador Earthquake, emergency, quake, disaster, aid, natural disaster, Ecuador

Ecuador Earthquake: "We fear that we haven't seen the worst yet"

First teams deployed from Spain and Colombia to assist the Ecuadorian people

By Action Against Hunger

Apr 18 2016

  • Cities including Muisne in the province of Esmeraldas, and Pedernales and Portoviejo in Manabi, are near the epicentre of the earthquake and have been severely affected. Aid agencies have not yet been able to access these locations and the situation is serious.
  • Action Against Hunger has deployed materials from Colombia to facilitate access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene solutions. 

"On our way to Esmeraldas from Colombia, the road was completely deserted," said Juliana Ruiz, a coordinator for Action Against Hunger based in Pasto, Colombia. "People remain in their homes, still very afraid." 

Ruiz traveled from Colombia to Ecuador yesterday and has already started assessing needs and taking immediate steps to implement the most appropriate response.

"The information we have at the moment is not very reliable," she said. "We fear that the initial figures will go up in the next hours and days."

We have mobilised three teams of experts in the last 24 hours: logisticians, specialists in water, sanitation and hygiene, and experts in food security. They are assessing the most urgent humanitarian needs and preparing to launch water and food security programmes as well as programmes aimed at meeting basic health care needs (e.g. personal hygiene kits and latrines) and providing psychosocial support.  

We have dispatched materials from Panama and Colombia including hygiene kits, chlorinated water tanks, treatment systems for household water, water pumps, water tanks, and distribution points for safe water.  

Our teams are also preparing  to set up "baby tents"  - safe spaces where young children and their mothers can receive psychosocial support to cope with the impacts of the disaster and learn good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of new diseases among children.  

Watch this space, and our social media accounts, for further updates about Action Against Hunger's response in Ecuador.  


Images copyright Joseph Vecino, Anadolu Agency