Responding to deadly earthquake – aid shipment preparation underway
An AmeriCares emergency team is currently on the ground and at work in Ecuador, responding to the strongest earthquake to hit the country since 1979. The 7.8-magnitude quake struck on Saturday April 16, killing hundreds of people, injuring more than 7,000, leaving thousands in shelters and many more sleeping outside. AmeriCares is also coordinating with health care partners and medical outreach teams in the region to deliver medicine and relief supplies for survivors. In response to requests for assistance, a 5,000 lb. emergency shipment is being prepared.
“With so many people injured and health facilities damaged, there is an urgent need for pain medicine, bandages, antibiotics and other critical supplies,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “We are preparing an emergency shipment to meet survivors’ immediate needs.”
The devastating quake struck coastal Ecuador with impacts hundreds of miles inland. Local partners report to AmeriCares that hospitals have sustained damages and patients are being transferred to inland communities for care.
Aftershocks, landslides and crumbling bridges and roads are making it difficult for emergency workers to get assistance to the hardest-hit areas. Entire communities have been flattened and several thousand people are in immediate need of shelter. Early estimates suggest that as many as 100,000 may need assistance in the aftermath of the quake.
The President of Ecuador declared a national emergency in the affected provinces and deployed the military and police to help in rescue operations. With hundreds of people still missing, the number of dead and injured is expected to rise sharply as search and rescue operations continue.
Our History of Responding to Disasters
AmeriCares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters and stocks emergency medicines and supplies in its warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The global health and emergency response organization has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and restoring health and hope. On average, AmeriCares responds to 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year. AmeriCares also establishes long-term recovery projects in communities affected by disaster and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.