Ecuador: Earthquake Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF Operation no. MDREC012


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster On 16 April 2016 at 6:58 pm local time, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake (Richter) struck off the coast of northern Ecuador. The epicenter was closest to the area between Cojimíes and Pedernales (Manabí province), nearby the Muisne canton (Esmeraldas province) and 170 kilometres northwest of the country’s capital of Quito. Considerable damage has been reported in the areas closest to the epicenter in the provinces of Manabí, Esmeraldas, Guayas and Pinchincha. Over 189 aftershocks have been felt since the earthquake.

The most current United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) information bulletin (17 April 2016) reports 233 deaths, 588 people wounded with 269 buildings destroyed and 89 damaged. Twenty-six schools have been damaged. Search and rescue efforts started immediately.

The Ecuadorian government has declared a state of emergency in six provinces: Manabí, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, Los Ríos, Santa Elena and Guayas. The Ecuadorian Vice-president stated that the 20 most affected cantons are located on the coast and in the mountain region with 17 roads affected at the national level. Perdenales has been declared a disaster zone.

Some areas lost electricity service, which is in the process of being restored. In the most affected areas, water service, electricity and telephone services (mobile and landlines) have not yet been resumed. In Manabí, only 4 per cent of the population has access to electricity.

Summary of the current response Overview of Host National Society The Ecuadorian Red Cross has a national headquarters in Quito, 24 province boards, 110 local branches, 8,000 volunteers and 200 staff members. All of the ERC provincial boards have been activated and a general alert was issued for response teams in the provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabí and Guayas. The Ecuadorian Red Cross immediately activated a crisis room in its national headquarters. The National Society has approximately 300 active volunteers in the areas of pre-hospital health care, rescue, damage and needs assessments (DANA), psychosocial support, evacuation support and telecommunications. Of these volunteers, 81 have been deployed to other provincial branches.

Based on guidance from the national headquarters and with the volunteers in its provincial boards and local branches in the area of heaviest impact, the Ecuadorian Red Cross began providing humanitarian assistance. The National Society, in fulfilment of its humanitarian mandate in the aftermath of the earthquake has activated a general alert for all its components to respond to this emergency. To date, it has engaged its volunteer human resources and staff to implement the following actions in the field:


  • There are approximately 25 active volunteers. A national support team has been deployed to Esmeraldas province to work with local ERC volunteers to conduct the rapid assessments in the provinces of Cojimíes and Muisne.
  • A psychosocial support technician from the National Society is in the field to provide psychological contention to volunteers and the community, as needed.
  • Trained technical staff people in an ERC ambulance and a pick-up truck have been deployed to support the provincial board.
  • Six pre-hospital care units have also been deployed; first aid teams have established posts in the Malecón area to provide pre-hospital care.


  • Approximately 60 volunteers are active in the boards of Portoviejo, Jipijapa, Montecristi, Chone, Manta, Santa Ana and Rocafuerte. Twelve national teams and provincial board teams have been deployed to support actions in pre-hospital care, rescue, psychosocial support, damage and needs assessments (DANA) in Portoviejo and Pedernales.
  • Portoviejo: Rescue efforts and pre-hospital care with the assistance of two equipped ambulances are being conducted. One psychosocial support (PSP) team is active and providing attention in Portoviejo. ERC volunteers have set up a first aid tent outside the Portoviejo shopping mall to provide pre-hospital care.
  • Pedernales: A rescue and pre-hospital care team from the Santo Domingo provincial branch has been deployed to support the Pedernales canton branch.
  • Reports indicate several collapsed buildings and structures in Portoviejo and Pedernales.


  • The provincial board has 35 volunteers in action in 7 teams, which includes 4 paid staff people and 6 paramedical staff in two ambulances.
  • The Duran canton board deployed 10 volunteers to other provincial boards on 17 April.
  • The Playas canton board has 5 volunteers available, with tents from the DIPECHO project, to support ERC and inter-institutional actions.
  • The Naranjal canton board has 6 PSP volunteers in action and also reports having access to telecommunications and electricity.
  • The Posorja parrish board reports that volunteers are raising awareness at the community level with the official information of the emergency.


  • There are 12 active volunteers the provincial branch is providing pre-hospital care.
  • The provincial branch has 10 volunteers in action. These are supporting two teams (PSP and pre-hospital care) to support the humanitarian actions in Pedernales (Manabí).
  • The provincial branch is conducting monitoring of this emergency.


  • A team of 8 volunteers from the provincial branch has been deployed to support pre-hospital care and DANA in Pedernales.
  • The provincial branch is monitoring the situation.


  • The branch in Colonche has been monitoring the emergency. This area only has partial electricity services. The population has been evacuated from Colonche.
  • The risk management provincial coordinator has been deployed as the coordinator of the team in Pedernales.


  • There are approximately 10 volunteers who have been deployed to Esmeraldas province to support prehospital care, PSP, DANA and evacuation.
  • Two vehicles to support PSP and rescue have been deployed to the affected region.
  • The provincial branch is monitoring the situation.


  • A provincial team with 17 volunteers has been deployed to Guayaquil to support with pre-hospital care and DANA.


  • The ITSCRE with headquarters in Quito has deployed a team of 23 paramedics and technicians to support actions in pre-hospital care, assessments and evacuation in the provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas.
  • Human resources with expertise in psychosocial support and in assessments are on alert.