The 7.8-magnitude quake struck Ecuador’s Pacific Coast on Saturday (April 16), killing at least 500 people and injuring more than 4,000. This is the worst earthquake to strike Ecuador in decades. The damage to homes and infrastructure are considerable, especially in the areas close to the epicenter (located on the border between the provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas, on the Pacific Ocean coast), where at least 90% of the houses were destroyed.
Terre des Hommes is responding
Terre des Hommes has been present in the country for years. Projects related to education, training and health are conducted in the province of Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo and in the city of Quito. In 2014, 1,680 children received medical check-ups or psychological support.
On monday, the emergency team joined three of the most affected cities by the earthquake : Pedernales, Esmeramdas and Muisne. The teams are now assessing the needs of the population in the region. The first evaluation indicators focus on the urgent need to protect children.
“We arrived late at night after a difficult journey due to the landslides on the road. Pedernales looked like a ghost town, with very visible damage. “says Juan Felipe Espinosa, Terre des Hommes’ emergency Coordinator.
Terre des Hommes, in cooperation with two Ecuadorian partners “Niñez y Vida” and “Fundación Amiga”, plans to provide psychosocial support activities for children as well as to ensure an access to water, basic sanitation and food for the babies.