Ecuador: Floods DREF Preliminary Final Report (MDREC011)


A. Situation analysis

A.1 Description of the disaster

At 23:00 on 24 January rains over the province of Esmeraldas started increasing in intensity, causing the overflowing of the Esmeraldas, Muisne, Quinindé, San Lorenzo, Eloy Alfaro, Rioverde and Atacames rivers, which led to landslides that affected homes and the main roads connecting Esmeraldas and Quinindé, Esmeraldas and Atacames, and Esmeraldas and Río Verde. Road conditions began to normalize as rains decreased in intensity.

On 25 January 2016, after two days of heavy rains (24 to26 January), Esmeraldas, Atacames, and Rioverde authorities declared a state of emergency due to the impact caused by the flooding, especially since rivers and tributaries in the area maintained higher than normal levels several days after the event. On 30 January, through its Return Plan, the Provincial Governorate initiated actions to encourage residents to leave the places where they were being housed and return home. To this end, officials from various institutions visited the area and efforts began to clean up homes.

Ffficial reports from the province of Esmeraldas estimated that 5,899 families (23,955 people) were directly affected; 70 per cent were evacuated to collective centres. The families who returned to their homes lost or suffered damage to between 50 per cent and 80 per cent of their belongings.

According to Status Report 1 and the ERC’s final mission report, the road infrastructure, housing, containment walls, productivity, electrical systems, and potable water systems were mainly affected.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture, and Fisheries (MAGAP) reported that more than 2,000 farmers lost their crops, while 80 per cent of tourism was affected because provincial authorities had to suspend Carnival activities, which are essential to the local economy.

On 1 February 2016, the decentralized local government of Rioverde canton and the mayor of Atacames asked the Ecuadorian Red Cross to provide support to the families affected by floods in the province of Esmeraldas and reduce the impact of the flooding on the affected areas.

The emergency operation had to be extended for one additional month due to the 7.8 earthquake that shook northern Ecuador on 16 April 2016, which led first the declaration of a state of national exception to ensure order and later to a state of emergency; response teams were deployed to affected areas to initiate first response actions and provide humanitarian assistance. This operation's actions resumed after a few weeks.

The major donors and partners of the DREF include the Red Cross Societies and governments of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the USA, as well as DG ECHO, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) the Medtronic and Zurich Foundations and other corporate and private donors. The IFRC, on behalf of the Ecuadorian Red Cross would like to extend many thanks to all partners for their generous contributions.

A.2 Summary of the current response

Overview of Host National Society

The Esmeraldas Provincial Board was involved in the following work areas:

  • Assistance to the Esmeraldas Provincial Board president and her technical team in canton and provincial Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) meetings.

  • Carrying out of damage assessment, needs analyses and registration of families in accessible areas, with the participation of Health, Risk Management and Youth volunteers.

  • Preparation of a situation report and a final report on the emergency and of Ecuadorian Red Cross interventions.

  • Validation of information regarding affected communities and collective centres set up in Esmeraldas and Atacames.

  • Institutional representation at provincial and canton EOC meetings to organise interventions on site with support from national technicians.