Ecuador

ADRA aids evacuees of volcano in Ecuador

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QUITO, ECUADOR-As the threat of volcanic activity increases on the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is expediting its national and international relief resources to help local residents who evacuated to safer areas. More than 25,000 people evacuated, most living with their relatives in nearby cities. Approximately 2,500 of the poorest residents were placed in temporary housing provided by the government.
"ADRA Ecuador started planning relief action for the earthquake one year ago," says ADRA Ecuador director, Arturo Finis, "which has allowed us to respond quickly to the rising danger of eruptions."

ADRA's most recent relief efforts include the construction of bathrooms and showers in three evacuee lodges, which will benefit 1,500 people in the cities of Ambato, Penipe and Pelileo. A few weeks ago, ADRA staff and volunteers delivered much needed relief items to the same people. Among the items were 1,500 blankets-given mostly to children and the elderly-and 1,000 family hygiene kits containing towels, soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste and toilet paper.

"Many of those living in the temporary housing are extremely poor, and come from warmer climates, so the cold weather is really affecting them," adds Finis.

In case of a major catastrophe following a volcanic eruption, ADRA Ecuador is prepared to provide 5,000 emergency food rations for three days, 5,000 thermal blankets, 5,000 protection masks, and other items. All of ADRA's projects in Ecuador are fully supported by local authorities and the National Institute for the Child and Family (INNFA), with which ADRA Ecuador has a cooperation agreement.

The eruption of Tungurahua, located 105 miles (170 kilometers) from the capital, Quito, could affect several major cities nearby, and impact more than a million people, according to Finis. Tungurahua means "Throat of Fire" in the local dialect.

"Ecuador is one of the countries with the highest index of active volcanoes in the world," he says. "Presently, there are 15 of them considered to be potentially active, and they would have great incidence over populated areas."

ADRA's International office, located in Silver Spring, Maryland, is accepting monetary donations for its relief efforts in Ecuador. To make a donation, please call ADRA's toll-free number 1-800-424-ADRA (2372). To make an online donation or to find out more about ADRA, visit the web site at www.adra.org.