20 April 2016
Within hours of the earthquake that struck on 16 April, the Ecuadorian Red Cross had begun responding to the emergency. Some 8,000 volunteers and 200 staff members are involved in assessing damage, search and rescue, first aid, and providing psychological support.
Several hospitals have experienced structural damage. Red Cross ambulances and paramedic staff are now present in the worst affected areas. An emergency response unit, which offers mobile medical facilities, will also be sent.
As a result of an existing agreement with Airbus, helicopters will be provided to conduct damage assessments in communities that cannot be accessed by land or for transportation of response equipment.
In 2014, the Red Cross established an emergency response warehouse in Ecuador. The warehouse has been kept in good condition for immediate distribution of hygiene kits, kitchen kits, and water containers.
The Red Cross in Ecuador was already responding to flooding in Esmeraldas province, which is also severely affected by this earthquake.
A Red Cross expert in disaster management, together with specialists in shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, will be in Ecuador in the coming days.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Ecuador at 6:58pm local time on 16 April.
The epicentre was 170 kilometres northwest of the country’s capital of Quito, in Manabí province.
Considerable damage has been reported in the provinces of Manabí, Esmeraldas, Guayas and Pinchincha. Over 189 aftershocks have been felt since the earthquake.
To date there have been a confirmed 435 deaths, 4027 reported injuries, with a further 231 people missing. The Red Cross has responded to over 1145 medical cases.
The Ecuadorian government has declared a state of emergency in six provinces: Manabí, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, Los Ríos, Santa Elena and Guayas.
Some areas lost electricity service, which is in the process of being restored. In the most affected areas, water service, electricity and telephone services have not yet been resumed. In Manabí, only four per cent of the population has access to electricity.
Worried about missing family members?
If you are worried about friends or family in Ecuador, our Restoring Family Links service might be able to help.
When emergencies happen, the Red Cross must be ready to act as soon as we're needed.
Thanks to the Disaster Fund, we can make sure we're ready to give people the help they need in an emergency – whether it's food, shelter, health care, or another form of support.
Please donate to the Disaster Fund.