Ecuador Earthquake

STATUS
Active Emergency
DATE
April 2016
REGION
Ecuador
Credit:Getty Images / Edu Leon/CON /Contributor

Overview

The strongest earthquake to hit the country since 1979 struck coastal Ecuador with an impact felt hundreds of miles inland. Aftershocks, landslides and crumbling bridges and roads made it difficult for emergency workers to get assistance to the hardest-hit areas. Entire communities were flattened, hundreds died and thousands of people were in immediate need of shelter, with as many as 100,000 needing assistance in the quake aftermath. Hospitals sustained damage and patients had to be transferred to inland communities for care.  The President of Ecuador declared a national emergency in the affected provinces and deployed the military and police to help in rescue operations.  

Our Response

Americares emergency teams worked with local health care partners and medical outreach teams in the region to deliver and distribute medicine and relief supplies, particularly to more remote areas. Emergency shipments of 32 tons of medicine, medical supplies and family emergency kits from Americares have arrived in Ecuador. These shipments helped to resupply hospitals and clinics damaged by the earthquake.

In addition, the team coordinated with Ministry of Health officials in early psychosocial support efforts to help displaced families struggling in the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude quake which also produced hundreds of aftershocks. 

"Our emergency shipments will help ensure medical professionals have the tools they need to continue providing care even in the most challenging circumstances." 

Kate Dischino, Emergency Response Director

After the emergency team evaluated damaged health facilities and other possible recovery needs, Americares worked with a local partner to reach 1,200 diabetics displaced by the earthquake in order to provide medicines and medical services. 

A special day for families to find hope – read Kate’s blog

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A chance for kids to be kids in the aftermath of a traumatic disaster.

Americares
Our Emergency team assessing a damaged hospital
Americares
A second shipment of medicine and supplies arrives in country
Americares
Providing clean and safe water is always a challenge in the early days of a disaster response

700,000

More than 700,000 people were affected by the massive quake, with thousands of buildings and dozens of health facilities damaged or destroyed.

First Steps to Recovery

Americares reached an agreement with the Ministry of Health to provide a transitional hospital in Pedernales, a town with a significant need for medical services. Our six-bay hospital arrived in Ecuador in mid-September and has been full functional since then. The hospital is staffed and furnished by officials from the Ministry of Public Health and providing emergency, general and maternal health services. The transitional facility, named Centro de Salud Tipo B de Pedernales, is meeting the immediate health care needs of local residents until construction of a permanent hospital is completed in 2018.  Through the end of 2016, the facility had received more than 7,800 unique patient visits and performed 84 deliveries.