Member organizations of the National Religious Broadcasters are responding to the massive 7.8 earthquake that struck near Ecuador’s central coast Saturday evening.
According to reports, more than 570 individuals are confirmed dead and more than 7,000 injured. The earthquake is the biggest to hit Ecuador since the 7.7-magnitude temblor in December 1979 and the deadliest since March 1987 when a sequence of shocks ranging from 6.0 to 7.2 in magnitude killed 1,000 people.
“The earthquake in Ecuador has caused incredible death, injury, destruction, and loss,” reported Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. "We’re responding as quickly as possible to help with emergency needs such as water, shelter, and medical care. We help in the Name of Jesus Christ and want to show people His love. Please keep them in your prayers."
On Sunday, Samaritan's Purse reported that it was going to be sending a Tier-2 emergency field hospital along with 30 medical staff in a series of three upcoming flights starting on Wednesday.
The emergency field hospital is a mobile unit that will give Samaritan’s Purse a physical location to treat and help patients in need. It will have an emergency room with the capacity to see more than 100 people a day, an operating theatre with the ability to handle 7-10 surgeries daily, 20 in-patient beds, and an outpatient clinic with an adjunct lab, ultrasound imaging capabilities, and on-site pharmacy. Approximately 40 medical personnel will staff the field hospital each day.
In addition to helping relieve the overwhelming medical needs, Samaritan’s Purse is also at work to bring clean water to 50,000 people and to meet the shelter needs for 5,000 households.
Also on the ground is World Vision, which was able to begin responding immediately to the disaster, having had a presence in Ecuador for nearly four decades. Initially, the aid agency's emergency teams set up two temporary shelters and distributed tents, hygiene products, diapers, food, water, and more. The aid agency will be scaling up to reach 10,000 people in the hardest-hit areas, including Manabi, Esmeraldas, and Los Rios, with emergency relief items such as mattresses, mosquito nets, hygiene supplies, kitchen kits (pots, pans, plastic cups, plates, utensils, bowls), and water treatment systems.
“This is the worst earthquake to strike Ecuador since 1979. It was a truly terrifying event felt across the country. The people of Ecuador spent a long, sleepless night worried about further shocks,” said World Vision’s National Director in Ecuador, José Luis Ochoa. “Right now, our primary concern is ensuring the needs of children and their families are met."
Other groups responding to the disaster include Christian Aid Mission, which assists an indigenous ministry that is in position to rapidly provide food, clothing, clean water, and other relief aid to survivors in Pedernales, one of the worst-hit towns; Compassion International, which currently serves more than 70,000 Ecuadorian children in partnership with more than 240 churches throughout the country; Convoy of Hope, which is working with its in-country partners to bring help and hope to those communities hardest hit by the earthquake; and Reach Beyond, which is mobilizing emergency medical relief teams to bring physical and spiritual help to those impacted.
To donate to the emergency responses in Ecuador, please click on the links below:
Christian Aid Mission
By NRB Staff
Published: April 21, 2016