A. Situation analysis
On 16 April 2016, at 6:58 pm local time, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake (Richter scale) struck off the coast of northern Ecuador. The epicenter was closest to the area between Cojimíes and Pedernales (Manabí province) and close to 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 and Esmeraldas and to a lesser extent in Santo Domingo and Guayas. Over 307 aftershocks have been felt since the earthquake. Search and rescue (SAR) efforts started immediately.
The Ecuadorian Secretariat for Risk Management (SGR) (19 April 2016) reports 570 deaths; 155 people unaccounted for (disappeared): 7,015 people injured, 24,442 people in collective centres, 1,125 buildings destroyed and 829 damaged. To date, 281 schools have been identified as damaged by the earthquake. In the Manabí province, of the 19 hospitals, 5 are without water and electricity services and 5 more do not have access to electricity. Many of the damaged roads in the country have been rehabilitated for controlled transit.
SGR also reports that only 5 per cent of the population in Manabí province has access to electricity. No specific dates for the restoration of electricity services are known at this time; all the electric companies from all regions of Ecuador have sent teams to work on repairing downed lines in the affected areas. Only 40 per cent of the Manabí province has access to mobile telephone services.
This area of the country is a tourist destination. The widespread damage to hotels in Pedernales, Portoviejo, Manta and the Bahía de Caráquez will severely affect the possibility of rapid livelihood recovery. The entire central tourist area, where hotels are located, in Portoviejo was severely affected by the earthquake.
The Ecuadorian government on 16 April declared a state of emergency with a red alert 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.
The area of Pedernales (Manabí province) has been declared a disaster zone. Search and rescue efforts started immediately