(This version now includes response projects by organization)
Impact On 16 April, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake (Richter scale) struck coastal areas in north-west Ecuador, its epicentre located close to the town of Muisne and 170km northwest of the capital Quito. Although the epicentre was situated in a remote rural area, several towns in coastal provinces were affected. More than 300 aftershocks have been registered to date.
The most affected areas are the provinces of Manabi, Esmeraldas, Santa Elena, Guayas, Santo Domingo and Los Ríos, for which the Government has declared a “state of emergency”. Manibi is the worst affected province; one of its cantons – Pedernales (population 55,000) – has been declared a “disaster zone” to which access is limited.
As of 21 April, 587 people are reported to have died, 155 are missing and 8,340 are injured. More than 1,125 buildings have been destroyed and more than 829 have been damaged, including 281 schools.
Additionally, 25,376 people are residing in collective shelters. Infrastructure, including many roads and bridges, has been damaged, resulting in logistics and communications challenges in some areas. Government and international teams are currently assessing the situation and will reach most of the affected areas within the coming days; thus, official figures on impact and damage are expected to rise.
It is estimated that approximately 720,000 of the 7 million people living in six affected provinces have suffered from the earthquake and require assistance.
The Government of Ecuador is providing and coordinating comprehensive response efforts. As of 21 April, it has deployed 882 firefighters, over 4,900 police, nearly 10,000 military personnel and 21 medical response teams to affected areas. Logistical assets such as helicopters and trucks, key supplies such as water purification units, shelter kits, food rations and hygiene The Government has activated a line of credit for US$600 million for recovery and reconstruction efforts. Given the extent of the damage, on 16 April the Government requested international support for needs assessment and response coordination, including for the medical response.
The United Nations (UN) is providing complementary support to Government relief efforts. On 17 April a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC) deployed to support on-site coordination in the towns of Manta, Porto Viejo, Pedernales and Quito. In close coordination with the National Disaster Management Agency (Secretaria de Gestión del Riesgo, SGR) and the UN-managed Secretariat for the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), a number of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams have deployed, including from Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Spain and Venezuela.
Several Member States, UN agencies, IFRC and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) have activitated internal emergency funding and surge mechanisms, and have started to provide in-kind supplies and other forms of assistance.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.