Emergency relief in response to the volcanic disaster in Ecuador

November / 2002
Secretariat of the Japan
Disaster Relief Team
The following is a report on the provision of emergency relief supplies to Ecuador.


1. Emergency Situation

The El Reventador volcano located in northeastern Ecuador erupted on November 3, 2002, and a state of emergency was declared for areas affected by the eruption (Pichincha, Sucumbios and Napo provinces) in the afternoon of the same day. In addition, the Pichincha volcano, near Quito city, and the Tungurahua volcano located approximately 100 km south of Quito city erupted on November 4, increasing concerns about the expansion of the damage.

In Quito city, the amount of ash has reached 5 mm, causing the paralysis of capital functions. The effects of the eruption brought about the collapse of houses and the destruction of infrastructure such as bridges and highways. In addition, ash and lava have caused damage to agricultural and grazing land over a widespread area. The eruption has had a serious effect on agriculture and stock farming as well as the tourist industry, which are the key industries of Ecuador.

Residents in areas surrounding the volcanoes have been evacuated to neighboring primary schools. Furthermore, the Government of Ecuador has been calling on residents to wear masks outside by stating that the long-term continuous intake of volcanic ash is liable to cause health problems. Concern has been raised that the eruption will have a large effect on the residents=D5 everyday life and health conditions in a widespread area including the capital, Quito, in the future.

Total affected: Approximately 43,000 (based on survey data of the local embassy as of November 13)

2. Response of Japan

Japan is now preparing for the provision of emergency relief supplies as follows.

(1) Relief Goods Supplied (from the Washington storage depository: planned)
2,000L portable water tanks 23
Electric generators (60Hz) 10
Electric cord reels (120V) 10
Water purifiers 15
Water purifier cartridges 15
Plastic canteens 1,080

(2) Estimated Value of Relief Supplies: 12,894,050 yen

(3) Transport Schedule
Coordination is under way for transport by flight via the shortest route from the Washington storage depository to Quito.

3. Response of the Government of Ecuador

(1) The Emergency Headquarters was set up on November 3 and started relief activities. The Ministry of Health is providing health services to the affected people as well as distributing safe water.

(2) Affected municipalities are working on the removal of volcanic ash in collaboration with volunteers.

(3) The Government of Ecuador held a donor meeting on November 13 and requested other countries support.

4. Response of Other Aid Agencies

(1) OCHA has provided $3,000 in financial assistance and has dispatched an assessment team (two persons).

(2) WEP has provided food aid.

(3) ECHO has provided $442,478 (EUR 450,000) in financial assistance.

(4) Spain has provided equipment for seismic observation.

(5) Norway has provided $20,000 and plastic canteens.