The disaster and the Red Cross Red Crescent response to date
16 April 2016, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake (Richter scale) strikes off the coast of northern Ecuador at 6:58 pm local time. The epicentre is closest to the area between Cojimíes and Pedernales (Manabí province) and near the Muisne canton (Esmeraldas province) in an area 170 kilometres northwest of the country’s capital of Quito. The Ecuadorian government declares a state of emergency with a red alert in six provinces: Manabí, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, Los Ríos, Santa Elena and Guayas. The area of Pedernales (Manabí province) is declared a disaster zone.
18 April 2016: The IFRC allocates 405,778 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to provide humanitarian aid to 40,000 people. The Ecuadorian government expands the State of Exception, which enables all international organizations not registered with the State to deliver humanitarian aid within the country.
20 April 2016: First plane chartered by IFRC – GLS America with 64 tonnes of humanitarian aid arrives in Ecuador.
22 April 2016: Emergency Appeal launched for 18,350,836 Swiss francs to support 100,000 people for 12 months.
10 May 2016: Operations update no. 1 issued.
19 May 2016: Operations update no. 2 issued.
Following the recent identification of five deceased people, the 16 April earthquake has caused 668 deaths and 8 people remain missing. Following the earthquake until 20 June 2016, the National Polytechnic Geophysics Institute (IGEPN) has registered 1,929 aftershocks. In extension of the two-month state of exception issued on the day of the earthquake, the Ecuadorian government renewed this status for an additional month until 16 July in the same six provinces (Manabí, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, Los Ríos, Santa Elena and Guayas). In late May, State institutions informed that 13,962 urban homes and 15,710 rural homes were registered as damaged. The government of Ecuador has estimated it needs 3.344 million US dollars for its reconstruction efforts.
The government of Ecuador continues to respond to the emergency through its technical working groups on health; water, sanitation and hygiene promotion; infrastructure; comprehensive attention (economic and social inclusion); security; productivity and livelihoods; education and culture; strategic infrastructure (electricity, hydrocarbons, refineries, telecommunications); waste management; and volunteering.
The earthquake damaged educational centres; by late May, government figures reported 875 schools remained damage, thus limiting access to education for 120,000 school-aged children and adolescents. The education sector has programmed the return to formal education in Manabí and Esmeraldas (Muisne canton) on 4 July 2016, which has been proceeded by two stages for socioemotional support and informal education in these locations. On 6 June, the Ministry of Social Development informed that 23,155 people remained in formal collective centres and informal camps. The Ministry of Security, which manages State-run collective centres, reported that 9,002 people remain in these centres with no updated figures for informal camps and collective centres.
In early May, the government launched its Sole Registry of Affected People (RUD) that gathers social, economic and demographic information to support State-run plans and policies for recovery and reconstruction as well as registers the people eligible for specific State support. The first phase, completed in early June, registered 5,824 families (23,155 people) in collective shelters. The second phase in the most affected regions is projected to register 40,000 additional families; the third phase is self-registration by affected households. The State has announced that the results will be available at the end of June. The first phase results, presented by the Ministry of Social Development (MIES), indicated the main livelihoods of this affected population were in agriculture/ animal husbandry and fishing (32.4 percent); commerce (15.4 percent); industry (8.5 percent); housing and services (8.1 percent); and construction (7.2 percent) with 28.2 per cent engaged in independent work, private employees or day-work.