|Posted on:||Wednesday, 20th April, 2016|
On Saturday 16 April 2016 a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck northern Ecuador at 6:58 pm local time. The earthquake was felt around the Andean nation of 16 million people and is the worst disaster the country has faced in decades.
The death toll from Ecuador's biggest earthquake soared to at least 400 people, and has left thousands of rescuers using tractors and bare hands hunting desperately for survivors in shattered coastal towns.
Internationally, CBM is working with four partners in Ecuador, two of whom have activities in the earthquake-affected area. CBM's Emergency Response Team is urgently assessing the needs of people with disabilities across the affected areas.
CBM Regional Director, Latin America Stefan Dofel reports from Ecuador:
“The earthquake hit when I was outside the house with my wife and little baby at 6:58 pm. It took about 40 sec but felt endless, feeling waves below the feet. Our daughter started to cry and I thought about my colleagues. The relief when it stopped was enormous and we rushed home.
“When news came in about the magnitude in the coastal areas of Ecuador where we have our CBR programmes we tried to establish contact and only reached our partners at midnight. In Esmaraldas people where panicking, there was chaos on the streets and a number of people sought refuge in the school of our project partner to sleep safely. We are without news from the communities but hope to learn more tomorrow.”
Please pray for those who have lost family members and whose homes have been damaged.